Ireland could face a very tough RWC quarter-final if they get out of Pool A

The 2019 Rugby World Cup draw has been made, placing Ireland in Pool A alongside Scotland and host nation Japan, writes Steve Neville.

We also know how the quarter-finals will go should Ireland advance.

On the World Rugby website, the governing body has confirmed that 'the Pool A winner will face the Pool B runner-up, the Pool B winner the Pool A runner-up'.

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Pool B consists of the current World Cup holders New Zealand plus former champions South Africa and Conor O'Shea's Italy.

That would mean if Joe Schmidt's Ireland top Pool A it could see a likely quarter-final showdown with South Africa and if Ireland finish as the runner-up, a last eight tie with New Zealand.

Of course, it would be foolish to write off Italy completely.

They famously beat South Africa for the first time in their history last November and Conor O'Shea has the Azzurri improving all the time.

If they managed to repeat their heroics against the Springboks, they could see themselves looking at the quarter finals.

It's also worth mentioning that while Ireland have avoided stronger teams like the Springboks, France and Argentina in the pool stages, Scotland shocked Ireland at the last Six Nations while Japan were inspired to victory over South Africa at the last World Cup.

Despite a good pool draw for Ireland, best not to count the chickens just yet.

2019 Rugby World Cup draw

  • Pool A - Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner.
  • Pool B - New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner.
  • Pool C - England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2.
  • Pool D - Australia, Wales, Georgia, Americas 2, Oceania 1.

READ MORE: TWEETS: Reaction to Ireland's 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A draw

 

By Steve Neville

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