The draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup Group Stage takes place this morning in Kyoto and can be followed live on a variety of channels including right here on Sport for Business, on eir Sport which will broadcast all the matches live and on a variety of social media.
Ireland are a top seed for the first time meaning we are guaranteed to avoid New Zealand, England and Australia.
We will though face one each of Scotland, France, South Africa and Wales from the second seeds and Argentina, Japan, Italy and Georgia from the third seeds. The two remaining teams in each group will be drawn from teams yet to qualify including from Africa, the America’s and the Pacific Islands.
In pure statistical terms each trio combination has a one in 16 chance of coming out meaning that we are as likely to face Scotland and Georgia as we are to put in a group alongside South Africa and Argentina.
In matters less governed by numbers and more by fate it is likely that we will draw one of our rivals to host this very tournament in 2023, namely France or South Africa. The latter became a more dangerous candidate yesterday when the South African government lifted a restriction on them bidding to host.
Whether they should have been allowed get to this stage when the support of Government was one of the key parameters for a bid through each stage up until now is a question that has not fully been answered by World Rugby but it is a truism in sport that you just have to beat the opposition that is placed before you.