World Cup Draw Review
Almost three years out from the tournament proper, World Rugby made the draw for World Cup 2023 in Paris on Monday 14 December, with Scotland – fresh from the news that Head Coach Gregor Townsend has extended his stay in that role until that competition at least – pitted against reigning world champions South Africa and Ireland, against whom they have plenty of recent experience.
The remaining two berths in Pool B of rugby’s marquee event will be determined by qualification structures in the lead up to France hosting the Rugby World Cup for the second time in its history [previously having held it in 2007].
The Springboks were in the same group as Scotland in 2015, where Vern Cotter’s charges were defeated 34-16 at St James’ Park in Newcastle – although the Scots did qualify for the last eight where they lost out in dramatic fashion to Australia.
Fans will remember well the last Rugby World Cup in Japan which, for all the spectacle, was a disappointment for Townend’s men, who lost their Pool A opener to Ireland and eventually bowed out to the hosts in their group finale.
The final two spots at Rugby World Cup 2023 will, as mentioned, go to teams labelled at this stage as Asia/Pacific 2 and Europe 2. Speculation as to who these teams will end up being is of course a slightly pointless exercise given the tournament is three years away, but an initial glance might suggest the likes of Hong Kong, Tonga and Russia are some of the likely candidates for those eventual places.
In the meantime, Scotland will host both Ireland and South Africa at BT Murrayfield during 2021, by way of the Guinness Six Nations on Sunday 14 March and as part of the Autumn Internationals on the weekend of Saturday 13 November respectively.