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2023 Rugby World Cup Pools – Reaction to the Draw

| December 17, 2020 1:51 pm PDT
Rugby World Cup 2023 Pools

The draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup is done and dusted. Well, kind of.

Host nation France was drawn in Pool A with Rugby World Cup betting favorite New Zealand, and what a match that should be. The French, long considered the bogey team of the All Blacks, will be confident of earning a convincing win in what just might be the tie of the pool stages.

Elsewhere, reigning champions South Africa were drawn alongside Ireland and Scotland in Pool B. The Irish and the Scots meet in the group stages for the second consecutive World Cup finals.

And how about this? Australia, Wales, and Fiji have been drawn in the same pool for the THIRD Rugby World Cup finals in a row. If the lineup of Pool C is not enough to induce nostalgia, I don’t know what is.

England and Argentina will face off again in Pool D, making the draw, well, surprising with a real sense of familiarity. If there can be such a thing?

Anyway, here is everything you need to know about the draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France!

The 2023 Rugby World Cup Draw

The pools for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France were drawn in Paris on December 14, 2020.

There are just under three years to go between the date of the draw and the next World Cup finals in France. Still, it’s kind of nice to know what we can expect from the finals.

The shape of the groups is pretty much there, as the teams that are yet to qualify are highly unlikely to have much of an impact on the finals. That might sound a little harsh, but just four countries (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and England) have won the title since 1987.

If you are yet to see the result of the draw for France 2023, here it is.

Pool A

  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Italy
  • Americas 1
  • Africa 1

Pool B

  • South Africa
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Asia / Pacific 1
  • Europe 2

Pool C

  • Wales
  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Europe 1
  • Final Qualifier Winner

Pool D

  • England
  • Japan
  • Argentina
  • Oceania 1
  • Americas 2

France 2023 – Road to the Final

Just as in previous tournaments, the top two teams from each pool progress to the quarter-finals.

The winner of a quarter-final progresses to the semi-finals, with the winner of a semi making it to the final.

The winning team of the final is crowned the 2023 Rugby World Cup champion.

Here’s how the quarters will work.

  • QF 1: Winner Pool C vs. 2nd Pool D
  • QF 2: Winner Pool B vs. 2nd Pool A
  • QF 3: Winner Pool D vs. 2nd Pool C
  • QF 4: Winner Pool A vs. 2nd Pool B

Who Wins the 2023 Rugby World Cup?

Although the pools for France 2023 are not yet finalized, it’s safe to say that the winner of the tournament will not be among the teams that have still yet to qualify.

When explaining everything from how the draw works in my early 2023 Rugby World Cup betting guide, I pointed out how seedings for the tournament were decided on January 1, 2020. This is one part of a few different cogs that come together to work out the pools.

You can look at the pools as they are now and try to work out the teams likely to advance to the knockout rounds of the tournament and who they will likely play in the quarter-finals and beyond.

If you’re thinking of taking early odds for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, you certainly have more science to work with than you would have had before the draw.

Still, a lot can happen between the date of the draw and the tournament itself. For example, 2019’s winners, South Africa, were at the end of some really bad beatings less than three years out from the tournament. But, they turned the ship around and went on to secure their third title in Japan.

My Reaction to the Rugby World Cup Draw

Well, I have to say that it’s been a little underwhelming.

There are far too many similarities between 2019 and 2023 in terms of pools. It would have been nice to have a little more variety, especially in the case of Pool C.

Just how Wales, Australia, and Fiji have been drawn together again is anyone’s guess, but with just four pools and a particular set of criteria to adhere to, this particular scenario is not as much of an odds beater as some might think.

But there are upsides to the draw. New Zealand vs. France is going to be absolutely epic, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner of the World Cup comes from this pair.

Also, Pool C should be competitive, despite the sense of overfamiliarity between the three big teams.

Why the Early 2023 Rugby World Cup Draw?

Wales, although ranked 9th, came into the draw as one of the seeds. That baffled a few observers, to say the least.

But, given the global pandemic’s effect on sports, World Rugby was forced to do things a little different than they had initially intended. That meant using the world rankings of January 1, 2020, for seedings. Back then, Wales was ranked #4 in test rugby.

If World Rugby had stuck with its plans to use the rankings following the Autumn Internationals, Wales would have ranked #9 if results had been the same. So, the Welsh have had a pretty lucky escape. Of course, no team in their position would be complaining, so fair play.

Some fans have hit out at World Rugby’s decision to make the draw so far out from the finals. The board of the organization has agreed that future tournaments will not be decided by such an early draw next time.

And That’s My Take

Well, it’s been an interesting draw, but at least we have a sense of what to expect.

Not everyone betting on the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be keen to make their predictions just yet, but I really believe that there is some early France 2023 value to be had on many of the best rugby betting sites.

The host nation, in particular, should be firing on all cylinders by the time the tournament comes around. They could very well be the favorites to win the William Webb Ellis by then.

We will be providing all kinds of betting coverage in the lead up to the tournament, and you can find more content about rugby on our blog. I’ll leave you with a little reading material for betting on the Rugby World Cup below.

We’ll catch up soon!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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