Chairman duties: Bernard Lapasset draws the final band during the 2015 World Cup pool allocation draw in London

HOSTS ENGLAND have been drawn with Australia and Wales in Pool A of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. With just over 1000 days to go till England 2015, the rugby world as we know it descended on London’s trendy Southbank for the pool allocation draw.

The tournament kicks off on 18 September 2015, with the final to be held at Twickenham on 31 October.

The pools will be finalised by the end of 2014

The Southern Hemisphere heavyweights South Africa and previous world champions in 1995 and 2007 head pool B, and it’s the fourth consecutive time that the Springboks have been drawn in the same pool with Samoa.

To make up for their shock defeat against England at Twickenham on Saturday, current world champions New Zealand are runaway favourites in Pool C facing Argentina and Tonga.

The biggest challenge facing Ireland are France, who were narrowly beaten in the 2011 final. Itlay round off Pool C, and hope to upset the status quo in 3 years time.

The eight remaining places will be filled by qualifiers with the pools expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.

Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, Playoff winner.

Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2.

Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1.

Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2.

The Quarter-finals will look like:
winner Pool A v runners-up Pool B, winner Pool B v RU Pool A, winner Pool C v RU Pool D, winner Pool D v runner-up Pool C