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Wed 10 May 2017 | 01:05

All Blacks keen on Boks showdown

The Official Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool Draw
Wed 10 May 2017 | 01:05

All Blacks keen on Boks showdown

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The 2019 editions will be the first time the two sides meet in the pool stages, thanks to the Springboks' dismal performance in 2016.

While the Boks slipped to seven in the World rankings, the defending champions New Zealand cemented their spot at the top.

Rounding off Pool B are New Zealand's six-time World Cup rivals Italy, the winner of Africa 1 and the Repechage winners from the qualifying tournament.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who was involved in the draw, said he was pleased with the outcome of the draw and is keen on facing the arch-rival the Springboks.  

"Everyone will be excited by the game against South Africa. We know each other pretty well, and we know they will be tough.

"Italy are an improving side so we have been drawn in a pool who got some strength in it and that is OK.  

"Eventually if you going to win the Cup, you have to play all the good teams. We will get to understand each other a bit more over the next two years before we play here in 2019.

"Having the World Cup in Japan is a great opportunity to grow rugby. It’s a special part of the world and Japan is leading the development of the game in the region. Let’s hope the tournament reaches great heights and is an exciting event to come to,"

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said the draw represented a milestone on the All Blacks’ path as they looked to again challenge for the Webb Ellis Cup.
 
"Every pool in a World Cup is challenging and the reality is you need to win seven games, regardless of who is in your pool, to win the tournament.

"We will find out the details of which order we will play the teams in our pool and our venues in September which will kick-start the next phase of our detailed planning for the tournament.

"The pool draw in Kyoto was a great success and brilliantly run. It promises to be an exceptional tournament in 2019 that will showcase rugby on the global stage and help to expand the game the into Asia,"

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All Blacks Keen On Boks Showdown | Rugby365