ENGLAND FACES “POOL OF DEATH” IN WORLD CUP
Despite a wonderful time so far on the field, and an exciting game against Argentina where they emerged victors, thus putting them on course to cement their No 2 position in the rankings ahead of the tournament draw next may, England may face being put in another “pool of death” ahead of the Rugby World Cup holding in Japan.
With the victory of the England Rugby team over Argentina and the defeat of Australia by Ireland last week Saturday, the position of the Eddie Jones led side at No 2 in the rankings was strengthened.
The World Rugby rankings which was announced on Monday saw England trailing behind the top ranked New Zealand by 4.94 points. New Zealand has 94.78 points. At third place sits Australia after their loss to Ireland widened the gap between them and 2nd placed England from 1.7 to 2.87 points.
At fourth place is Ireland who with a win over Australia, has been able to reduce the deficit from 4.68 points to about 2.35 points.
The World Cup pool draw will take place at the Kyoto’s State Guest house, and the top four ranked teams at the time of the draw, will be handed top seed status, which ensures that they would avoid each other.
There would be four pools of five teams each, and each team with top seed status will be drawn with a side ranked fifth to eighth and then to another from ninth to twelfth. The eight remaining teams would then have to be drawn from two further bands.
The Jones led side risk being drawn in a pool with two other tier-one nations, this partly because in the rankings, South Africa had dropped to sixth. The Springboks are more likely to remain in the second band for the team draws for the World Cup unless both Ireland and Wales can endure a poor Six Nations.