Find out who will play who in the group stages at the tournament in New Zealand

Rugby World Cup 2021 Pool Draw

The pool draw has been made for the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The draw was made by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and three World Cup winners – former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer, ex-New Zealand flanker Melodie Robinson and All Blacks legend Dan Carter in Auckland.

Rugby World Cup 2021 Pool Draw

The draw: Jacinda Ardern, Farah Palmer, host Laura McGoldrick, Melodie Robinson and Dan Carter (Getty Images)

Hosts and defending champions Black Ferns have been drawn in Pool A with trans-Tasman rivals Australia, Wales and the Final Qualification Tournament winner.

Pool B consists of North American teams Canada and the USA as well as Europe 1 and Asia 1.

England, who were runners-up at RWC 2017 in Belfast, have been drawn in Pool C with France, South Africa and Fiji.

Black Ferns captain Eloise Blackwell said: “It’s interesting how the pools have come out – we’ve got an Australasian pool, a North American pool and a European pool. Every time we come up against Australia it’s a massive battle.

“In terms of the World Cup we’re not defending it, we’re coming out to win it. That’s the plan for us going forward.”

Red Roses centre Amber Reed said: “We’ve gone toe to toe with France over the last few years so that will be a tough match. South Africa and Fiji bring something new and exciting that we haven’t experienced before. There’s a nice mix in the group.”

The tournament, which is the first women’s Rugby World Cup to take place in the southern hemisphere, will take place from 18 September to 16 October 2021. Matches will be played at Waitakere Stadium, Northland Events Centre and Eden Park.

It had been hoped that all the qualification matches for RWC 2021 would have taken place by now but the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has caused them to be delayed until next year.

The European qualifiers are due to take place in early 2021, with dates to be confirmed for the Asia Rugby Championship, the Colombia v Kenya play-off and the Final Qualification Tournament.

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