The England draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup has pleased the majority of their fans online after Eddie Jones’ side were grouped with Argentina and Japan in Pool D. With either the United States or Canada, and Samoa or Tonga likely to fill the final two vacant spots in the pool, there are undoubted challenges in this group. But, on balance, it’s no surprise that England fans are rather buoyant.
Based on current world rankings, England are ranked second in the world and the highest-ranked team they will face in the opening World Cup round is Argentina, who are seeded eighth. When comparing Pool A, which sees third-ranked New Zealand face France in fourth, or Pool B, which contains South Africa (first), Ireland (fifth) and Scotland (seventh), the draw looks all the more favourable to those from England.
On top of that, the highest-ranked team England could possibly face in the quarter-finals (should they progress) is Australia (sixth) from Pool C. In contrast, there is a likely showdown between the reigning champions South Africa and one of France or the All Blacks in one of the other quarter-finals.
Even Jones was seen to crack a smile when working out who England will come up against in France, although that could well be because he is now set to face his former side Japan, whom he coached at the 2015 RWC.
Pool D may not be too dissimilar from England’s grouping in 2019, only with Japan replacing France, which proved favourable for Owen Farrell’s side. But given their pool with Wales and Australia in 2015, where England failed to make the quarter-finals, 2023’s group is probably the best of the three and a reward for England’s performance in 2019.
Many fans are still wary of the threat Argentina and Japan pose. The Pumas are fresh from their first-ever win over the All Blacks in November, while Japan showed in 2019 that they are another nation on the rise. But such is the growing depth of talent in the rugby world currently that there are no longer any easy pools.
Loved the smile on Eddie Jones's face when he knew England would be in Japan's group #RWC2023
— Travis (@Travman9507) December 14, 2020
Think Eddie will be happy with that!
— Keith Gerrard (@PreacherTango) December 14, 2020
— Owen Richards (@Crennisditic) December 14, 2020
Eddie Jones full evil genius grin ? loved it.
— Josh Turner (@Josh_turner13) December 14, 2020
Probably the best draw of the top 3 teams.
With the additions being the winner of Samoa and Tonga. As well as probably the loser of USA v Canada as I would expect them both to beat (probably) Uruguay. https://t.co/Lsd7iclwCK
— Russell Eassom (@REassom) December 14, 2020
There's no easy group, but I'd say this was the most favourable option when it came to the top few teams being drawn.
— James Shuttleworth (@jimshuttle) December 14, 2020
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