Host nation France will play three-time winners New Zealand in a mouthwatering 2023 Rugby World Cup pool game, after the draw was made in Paris on Monday. The sides have met each other seven times in World Cups, including in the 1987 and 2011 finals with the All Blacks winning on both occasions. England take on Japan, who hosted the last World Cup in 2019, and Argentina, who beat New Zealand for the first time in their history in November. A qualifier each from Oceania and the Americas round out a competitive-looking pool D. “It’s a great pool to be a part of,” England captain Owen Farrell said. “Obviously with the way that Japan and Argentina are going at the minute, some of the rugby that has been played over the last few years by them both, obviously it’s going to be a tough pool.” Your Pools at Rugby World Cup 2023! Register for tickets here: https://t.co/wiftbbRu2B #RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/PFKEGHRrAO — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) December 14, 2020 World Cup holders South Africa will face Ireland as well as Scotland and an outfit from Asia/Pacific and a further European nation in pool B. “It’s exciting, really, to know who your RWC pool opponents will be for the 2023 tournament in France,” Springboks captain Siya Kolisi said. Hong Kong Men’s Premiership preview: coaches and captains shoot for the stars after Covid-19-disrupted preseason “For now, we have to turn our attention to the massive challenge the British and Irish Lions will bring next year – there is huge anticipation, both at home and in the UK, for what promises to be another memorable Lions series in South Africa,” he added. Wales, who lost to the Springboks in the 2019 semi-finals, are in pool C with two-time Webb Ellis trophy holders Australia as well as Fiji, a European team and the winner of the final qualifying tournament. "It will be the best of rugby, and the best of France" World Rugby Chairman Sir @BillBeaumont speaks to the rugby family across the globe ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023 Draw in Paris. Our draw show is LIVE on our Twitter page right now #RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/qKnoAS0FES — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) December 14, 2020 Italy and two qualifiers, one from the Americas and another from Africa, make up the rest of pool A alongside the All Blacks and France. The draw was held days after a host of former internationals said they were planning legal action against the sport’s authorities over the result of concussion. The planned legal action targets World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union, for “failure to protect (the claimants) from the risks caused by concussions”. World Rugby vice-chairman Bernard Laporte said the global body was a leading example in the field across sports federations. “We are a model union in terms of research, innovation and mastering this area,” Laporte said in a press conference afterwards. “A lot of other sports want to do like rugby with our Head Injury Assessment protocol. It’s a major subject. The priority is the health and safety of our players.” Japan Rugby World Cup worth US$5.39 billion to hosts: report Due to the coronavirus pandemic, seeding levels for the tournament draw were based on the world rankings on January 1, 2020 instead of after the autumn internationals as originally intended. The dozen countries from the draw will be joined by eight qualifiers, with the final lineup known by November 22.