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Scotland coach Gregor Townsend warns of Japan threat at Rugby World Cup

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend warns of Japan threat at Rugby World Cup

"You can plan the lay of the land, know the teams you're playing, know who the potential cross-over teams are, you can do the homework but at the end of the day it's all about how we play."

In Pool C, which has been dubbed this World Cup's "pool of death", England, France and Argentina are drawn against each other. The teams have previously met in the World Cup in 1991 and 1995, with Ireland winning on both occasions.

Only 12 teams were in the draw at Kyoto's State Guest House with the other eight nations yet to qualify from various regional tournaments.

Considered New Zealand's greatest threat after equalling the All Blacks' tier-one world-record 17 Test wins before falling earlier this year to Ireland, England will again have a tough time emerging from the group stages.

Horie also plays for the Japanese Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves.

"Japan. I saw a amusing comment from their coach Jamie Joseph that Japanese players don't seem to be retaining the edge that they had in the World Cup in 2015".

"World Cup is a special time obviously there is more excitement closer to it, but you really want to go there when there is someone in your pool that you really got to be on edge about", Foster said.

Scotland, who defeated Ireland in this year's Six Nations campaign, also beat the Irish in their only previous World Cup meeting in a pool match in Edinburgh in 1991.

"They can pick anyone from around the world, so it's going to be a very different team that we face".

Eddie Jones laughs off 'group of death' tag
We will look to build confidence and find the solidarity to get as close as possible to maximum strength at the World Cup". Eddie Jones' team will have to do it the hard way if they are to win the Rugby World Cup in two years time.

The World Cup runs from 20 September to 2 November 2019.

Australia's other two Pool D opponents are likely to be either Fiji or Samoa from Oceania and either the U.S. or Canada from the Americas qualifying competition. "We've got to find ways to become bulletproof and we've got two years to do it", Jones said. "You have to win seven games to get there".

"But now there's some certainty around it, we can start our planning and we are really looking forward to it".

The Spanish are probable favourites to finish as "Europe 2" who will have a chance to be Scotland's fifth pool opponents from a play-off match with the team ranked "Oceania 3".

"One of the key things is that I know how hard this place can be".

France coach Guy Noves said it was a "balanced" group.

If the Japan 2019 competition unfolds as expected, England should face Wales in the quarter-finals and champions New Zealand a phase later.

A victory over either the Irish or the Scots in the group stage would likely be enough for Japan to advance to the quarter-finals as Group A runners-up, where they would face the victor of Group B.


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