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Big year for Ireland as World Rugby confirm 2023 World Cup pool draw for November

Ireland are currently outside the top four of the official rankings.

WORLD RUGBY HAS confirmed that the pool draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in November.

It means the top nations, including Andy Farrell’s Ireland, face a crucial 2020 as they aim to ensure their official World Rugby ranking leaves them with a better pool draw.

The seeding for the draw will, as before, be based on teams’ ranking at the time of the draw, which will take place following the 2020 November Tests.

conor-murray-and-peter-omahony-dejected-after-the-game Ireland will be hoping for a good draw for 2023. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

With Ireland currently sitting fifth in the rankings, they will be desperate to get back into the top four before the pool draw is made.

Andy Farrell’s men are facing into the start of the Six Nations this weekend, before a tour to Australia in July, then clashes with world championship South Africa, the Wallabies, and Japan in Dublin in November.

As with previous World Cups, automatically qualified teams will be seeded based on their World Rugby rankings after the November Tests and positioned into three bands of four teams.

Being in the top four of the rankings at the end of the November Tests would ensure Ireland would be seeded in ‘Band 1′ for the World Cup pool draw.

As an example, Ireland’s current ranking of fifth would have them in ‘Band 2′ of the pool draw and therefore facing the prospect of being drawn in the same pool as one of South Africa, England, New Zealand, or Wales.

The remaining eight teams for the 2023 World Cup will come through World Rugby’s “global qualification process,” which is due to kick off later this year, and will then be allocated into Bands 4 and 5 five based on relative strength.

Example: the three top bands as of January 29 would be:

  • Band 1: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales
  • Band 2: Ireland, Australia, France, Japan
  • Band 3: Scotland, Argentina, Fiji, Italy

World Rugby says, “the early draw timing enables the France 2023 organising committee to optimise ticket sales ahead of Olympic Games’ tickets going on sale. Tickets for Rugby World Cup 2023 will be available from early 2021.

“The draw timing also enables an exciting match schedule with teams and fans at heart to be developed that optimises rest periods, travel and broadcast, while maximising planning and preparation.”

The draw timing also means that Andy Farrell needs to get strong results in his first year in charge of Ireland.

- This article was updated at 12pm to corrent ’2019′ to ’2023′ in the 11th paragraph.

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Murray Kinsella

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