Schmidt on RWC draw: Very hard to assess where teams will be in two years time

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says the 2019 Rugby World Cup is so far away it is hard to know if they have been handed a good draw.

Schmidt's team were drawn in Pool A alongside Japan, Scotland, a European qualifier and a play-off winner.

The tournament doesn't start until September 20, 2019 - almost two-and-a-half years.

Joe Schmidt at the the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw in Kyoto, Japan. Picture: Inpho/Getty/Dave Rogers/World Rugby Pool Images

Speaking to World Rugby, Schmidt said the group was a mixed bag, noting his side recently lost to Scotland in the Six Nations.

Schmidt also added that it was "incredibly exciting" to have drawn the host nation.

"They (Japan) got very close to beating Wales in the Millenium Stadium last autumn. Obviously their heroics in the last World Cup were pretty spectacular."

Meanwhile, Japan coach Jamie Joseph admitted his side face a "massive challenge" in Pool A.

"We know we're playing two really tough teams in Ireland and Scotland and they're two teams that Japan haven't beaten before as well. So there is still a massive challenge ahead of us."

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

 

By Steve Neville

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