Cape Town - World Rugby and the Japan 2019 organising committee have
confirmed that the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw will take place on Wednesday,
May 10, 2017 in Kyoto's State Guest House.
According to the World Rugby website, the iconic venue is a national symbol in Japan and has played host to
globally important meetings, including hosting world leaders at the
2016 G7 summit.
With excitement and anticipation building across Japan, the selection
of Kyoto, the historical and cultural heart of Japan, reflects World
Rugby and Japan Rugby 2019's commitment to an event that is for the
The draw is a focal point for teams and fans as they can start to
plan their Rugby World Cup 2019 experience in earnest. The unique and
special location within Japan's former capital at a time that optimises
domestic and international exposure will build excitement on the road to
World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont said: "The pool draw is an
important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2019 as it really
drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout
the global rugby family - it is the moment when teams and fans really
start to plan for their Rugby World Cup 2019 experience.
"Kyoto is synonymous with Japanese culture and heritage and the Kyoto
State Guest House is therefore a fitting choice for this prestigious
and much-anticipated event. The city may not be a match venue for Rugby
World Cup 2019, but its selection for the draw reflects our commitment
to a tournament that is for all of Japan, with 75 percent of Japan's
population within an hour of a match venue. This is Kyoto's opportunity
to play its part in what promises to be a very special and
ground-breaking Japan 2019 tournament.”
In addition to Kyoto as pool draw host, the tournament comprises 12
host cities and a host of team camps, meaning the tournament will be
within easy reach of communities the length and breadth of the host
Japan 2019 organising committee Chief Executive Akira Shimazu added:
"I am delighted to confirm that the pool draw, a great milestone on the
road to Japan 2019, will be held at Kyoto State Guest House on May 10,
2017. The Kyoto State Guest House is a very special place for us and has
welcomed many heads of state.
"It is the first time that the pool draw has been hosted outside of
the UK or Ireland and we are determined to make the most of this
opportunity to showcase the very best of Japan to the world, and the
best of rugby to Japan. It is very exciting."
For Kyoto, hosting the pool draw represents an opportunity to play
its part in a globally renowned tournament that attracted more than
400 000 international visitors and delivered £2.3 billion in economic
output for the UK in 2015.
Mayor of Kyoto City Daisaku Kadokawa said: "We are honoured and
excited to be hosting the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw, which
represents a great opportunity to showcase Kyoto and Japan to the world
and to bring the passion and excitement of Rugby World Cup to our city.
We look forward to welcoming the rugby family to our city in May with
the spirit of Omotenashi."
The later window for the draw was approved by the World Rugby Council
in November 2015 and has enabled greater opportunity for teams to
secure the best-possible ranking and banding for the draw with the
rankings being taken on the day of the draw.
Twelve of the 20 participating teams have already been determined
with Argentina, Australia, England, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales automatically
qualifying courtesy of finishing in the top three of their pools at
Rugby World Cup 2015. The remaining eight teams will be determined via
the global qualification process that kicked off earlier this year.
How the pool draw works:
As for the 2015 tournament, the 12 directly qualified teams will be
seeded based on the World Rugby rankings on May 10, 2017 and positioned
into three bands of four teams.
The process will be independently audited and the teams will be
randomly drawn by band into the four pools that will comprise rugby's
showcase event at Japan 2019.
Rugby World Cup 2019 will comprise 20 teams allocated into four
pools: The 12 teams that directly qualified from RWC 2015 in England
plus eight teams that will come through the global qualifying process
which kicked off in St Vincent and the Grenadines in March of this year.
The direct qualifiers are RWC 2015 winners New Zealand, runners-up
Australia, losing semi-finalists South Africa and Argentina, losing
quarter-finalists Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France plus England,
Japan, Georgia and Italy, who finished third in their respective pools.
Like the past four Rugby World Cups, there will be four pools of five
teams. The eight places available through the qualifying process will
be banded according to strength and known as bands four and five. These
will also be drawn randomly across the pools.
The 12 directly qualified teams will be allocated into the top three bands as follows:
Band 1: The four highest-ranked directly qualified teams (1-4 in World Rugby rankings)
Band 2: The next four highest-ranked directly qualified teams (5-8 in World Rugby rankings)
Band 3: The final four directly qualified teams
The eight qualifying places will be allocated into the other two bands.