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Published: 14:15 | 11/5/16

Rugby World Cup draw set for May 2017

The 2019 Rugby World Cup pool draw will take place in May 2017, World Rugby has confirmed.

Seedings will be based off the world rankings in May 2017 and countries will be hoping to move up the rankings to secure a better draw for the tournament in Japan.

"The pool allocation draw is an important milestone in the run-in to any Rugby World Cup and it really helps to build excitement and momentum. With the identity of 12 teams already known, it will be of huge interest to players and fans to know which sides will be in their pool for what will be a game-changing tournament in Japan," said Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"While the draw is closer to the start of the tournament this time around compared to the previous RWC, it is necessary to conduct it well in advance for logistical reasons and to allow for an effective ticketing programme to be implemented."

Wales dropped out of the top eight ahead of the pool draw for the 2015 World Cup and ended up in the same group as Australia and England. Although they eventually progressed to the knockout stages, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be looking to secure the best possible draw.

Ireland are currently seventh in the world rankings but face a tricky summer tour to South Africa before hosting the New Zealand, Canada and Australia in the November series.

Chief Executive of Japan Rugby 2019 Akira Shimazu said: "We are very looking forward to the pool allocation draw taking place as it will be another significant step towards Rugby World Cup 2019. With just over two years to go when the draw takes place, we will be using it as a way to build excitement ahead of what we believe will be an amazing tournament for the game. It will also be another opportunity to build momentum in Japan and add to the increasing excitement that already exists."

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