Rugby World Cup 2015
Date set for 2015 Rugby World Cup draw
ESPN Staff
May 21, 2012
The Webb Ellis Trophy on display at Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 24, 2011
The draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup will take place in London on December 3 © PA Photos

The pool draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England will take place in London on December 3.

As for the 2011 tournament, the IRB rankings will play a pivotal role in proceedings with the top four placed sides at the end of the November international window set to be kept apart in the draw. All 12 of the automatic qualifiers - the quarter-finalists from last year's tournament plus those sides that finished third in their respective pools - will be seeded based on their ranking and then split three bands of four teams.

The top four ranked sides will go into band 1, the teams ranked five to eight go into band two and the sides ranked from nine to 12 will go into the third band. A fourth band four will be made up by the Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1 and Americas 1 qualifiers, while the fifth and final band will contain the Africa 1, Europe 2 and Americas 2 qualifiers and the winner of the repechage match. The teams will then be randomly drawn by band into the four pools that will comprise the sport's showcase event.

The battle for vital ranking points is already underway with England climbing into the top four, alongside New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, following a return to form in this year's Six Nations. Further changes to the rankings can be expected next month with all of Europe's leading sides touring the southern hemisphere.

"With every Test match played between now and the draw counting towards the IRB World Rankings the Pool Allocation Draw adds an extra dimension to a mouth-watering year that features the new tours and Test schedule as well as Argentina's inclusion in the new Rugby Championship," said IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited chairman Bernard Lapasset.

England Rugby 2015 chief Paul Vaughan, said: "The Pool Allocation Draw is another major milestone as momentum builds towards England's hosting of Rugby's showcase event. The draw is particularly significant for the teams and for the fans as they can really begin their journey towards Rugby World Cup 2015.

"All eyes will be on the draw so it gives us a fantastic global platform to talk about the tournament and build excitement. Operationally this also allows us to progress our collaborative work around the match schedule and venue programme which are key elements for 2013."

The 12 directly qualified teams will be allocated into the top three bands for the random draw using the IRB World Rankings of December 3 as follows:
Band 1 - The four highest ranked directly qualified teams*
Band 2 - The next four highest ranked directly qualified teams*
Band 3 - The final four directly qualified teams*
Band 4 - Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1, Americas 1
Band 5 - Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Repechage winner

*The directly qualified teams are the teams that finished in the top three of each RWC 2011 pool.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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