Jones' prayer quip follows tough draw

Eddie Jones' team will have to do it the hard way if they are to win the Rugby World Cup in two years time.

England's hopes of winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup have suffered a blow after they received the toughest possible outcome at the pool stages draw for the competition in Japan.

Wales will face Australia in Pool D, with both sides having qualified ahead of England from the group stage of the 2015 World Cup.

These are: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Italy, Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Australia and Georgia.

"Will we play any games in Japan between now and then?"

"Any one of the top eight teams that you get paired up with are going to be tough", New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen said.

"We are aware that the game against Argentina will be decisive", he said.

"We don't control who we get".

Two-time champion Australia is in Pool D with Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1 and Americas 2.

The favourable draw is a far cry from the last edition of rugby's global showpiece, when Australia battled through the group of death, knocking out co-hosts England during their charge to the title match.

Holders New Zealand face South Africa and Italy in Pool B. If they and England top their groups and come through the quarter-finals they will meet in the last four.

Japan will be reunited with the Scots, whom they lost to as they exited in the pool stage in 2015.

The victor of the All Blacks pool will face the runner up in Pool A that includes Ireland, Scotland and Japan.

"You've got to plan with the lay of the land, those teams you're playing, know who the crossover teams are, do the homework, but at the end of the day it's going to be all about how we play". We will have to wait and see.

Ireland have been drawn with Scotland and hosts Japan in a favourable draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The ninth Rugby World Cup takes place from September 20, 2019, with the final being played on November 2, 2019. "By the time the World Cup comes around, any one of those sides could win", Hansen said.

With Argentina also in the same section along with qualifiers from the Americas and Oceania, it promises to be a challenging pool for all teams involved, with two places for the quarter-finals on offer. "It's very hard. We will look to build confidence and find the solidarity to get as close as possible to maximum strength at the World Cup".

"We've obviously got a really big game in South Africa and that's going to give a really good edge to things and I think that's important in that pool".

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