England handed another 'Pool of Death' for Japan

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage victor.

England became the first host team to fail to advance from the pool stage in 2015 after they lost to Australia and Wales.

But Wasps flanker Haskell insists England under Eddie Jones can handle the hype of another severely testing draw.

Holders New Zealand face South Africa and Italy in Pool B. If they and England top their groups and come through the quarter-finals they will meet in the last four. The majority of our players who will feature in the next World Cup have already had that first contact with them and the style of rugby they aspire to play.

"This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of worldwide rugby", said World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot. "I think it is good for us and it will keep us on our toes".

Third-ranked Australia's highest-ranked opponents in the group stages in Japan will be eighth seeds Wales, a team the Wallabies have dominated during a 12-Test winning streak that stretches back to 2008.

"To win the World Cup, you have to win seven games".

"Particularly that England, France, Argentina pool will be a bit of fun, but the fact that we've got a really big game in it is going to guarantee an edge for us. Rugby is on the up in Japan and everyone is looking forward to playing here".

"It's a new venue for the World Cup and I'm sure there'll be a lot of interest in our Pool draw, especially when we get there, because we're taking on the host country. I need to pray really hard", he said.

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"England are one of our main rivals but South Africa, Australia and France are improving sides".

"You've just got to deal with each game as it comes and that is the key to tournament play", Cheika said from Japan.

At the draw in Kyoto, eight slots were allocated to the teams yet to qualify.

Hansen's New Zealand are striving to complete a hat-trick of World Cup victories and underline their dominance of the sport.

Games will be played at 12 venues including Kamaishi, which was ravaged by Japan's 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got proceedings underway by drawing the ball that confirmed Japan would join Pool A.

"We are aware that the game against Argentina will be decisive", he said.

The dozen teams were included in Wednesday's draw by virtue of finishing in the top three of their groups in 2015.

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