Guinness Six Nations giants Ireland and Scotland will face each other at the 2023 Rugby World Cup having been drawn in the same pool.
Each Guinness Six Nations outfit learned their fate today ahead of the tournament in France, with the hosts to take on familiar opponents Italy in Pool A.
Wales have been drawn alongside Australia and Fiji in Pool C, while England will face Japan and Argentina in Pool D.
The draw offered a sense of familiarity for Ireland and Scotland, who also met at the pool stage of the 2019 World Cup.
They will each take on reigning world champions South Africa in Pool B, along with qualifiers from Europe and the Asia/Pacific regions.
Andy Farrell and Gregor Townsend’s sides have met twice in Dublin this year, in the Championship and Autumn Nations Cup, with Ireland coming out on top on both occasions.
Pool A will also pit two Guinness Six Nations sides against one another, with hosts France to take on Italy.
Italy have come out on top against France just three times in their history, most recently in Rome during the 2013 Championship, and have been beaten twice by Fabien Galthie’s side in 2020.
The pair will take on New Zealand in Pool A alongside qualifiers from the Americas and Africa.
Guinness Six Nations champions England were drawn in Pool D and will face Japan, Argentina, either Samoa or Tonga and a qualifier from the Americas.
Eddie Jones famously guided Japan to victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup and will look forward to leading England against his former charges, while the Red Rose have fond memories from beating Argentina in the pool stage of last year’s tournament.
In Pool C, Wales will take on Australia and Fiji along with a European qualifier and the final qualifier winner.
Wayne Pivac’s side overcame Australia at the 2019 World Cup and will hope history repeats itself in France, while they will be wary of the Fijian threat having been knocked out at the group stage by the Pacific Islanders in 2007.
The full tournament fixture list, with date, location and times of all games will be announced towards the end of February next year.
Rugby World Cup 2023 draw
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Americas 1, Africa 1
Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Asia/Pacific 1, Europe 2
Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Europe 1, Final qualifier winner
Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1, Americas 2