England to face Wales and Australia

Host nation England have been drawn in the same 2015 Rugby World Cup pool as Wales and Australia.

Monday's draw, held at the Tate Modern art gallery in London, presents Stuart Lancaster's team with a tough task, although they managed to avoid world champions New Zealand, the team they beat at Twickenham on Saturday.

England's group - Pool A - will be completed by two qualifiers, Oceania 1 (probably Fiji) and the play-off winner, possibly Uruguay.

Ireland have landed France, Italy, Americas 1 and Europe 2 in Pool D, while Scotland are in with Pool B rivals South Africa, Samoa, Asia 1 and Americas 2.

The All Blacks, meanwhile, look to have secured the easiest pool, being bracketed alongside Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1 and Africa 1.

The tournament kicks off on September 18, 2015, with Twickenham staging the final six weeks later.

England, crowned 2003 world champions after they beat Australia in a gripping final, have never previously been drawn in the same World Cup group as Wales. Their last World Cup meeting was during the 2003 tournament in Brisbane, when England trailed at half-time before securing a tense quarter-final triumph.

And the last time England and Australia found themselves in the same pool was at the inaugural World Cup 25 years ago.

Wales, World Cup semi-finalists last year, have paid a price for dropping to ninth in the International Rugby Board rankings following successive autumn defeats against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. It meant they were in the third band of countries for the draw, increasing the prospect of a punishing group, and so it has proved.

England coach Stuart Lancaster tweeted after the draw: "To win the Rugby World Cup you have to win big games. We will look forward to it, it is unbelievably exciting."

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