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England drawn in group of death for 2015 World Cup

MEMORY LANE: Jason Robinson scored England’s only try in their triumphant final against Australia in the 2003 World Cup

HOST NATION England have been drawn in a difficult group alongside Australia and Wales in Pool A of the 2015 rugby union World Cup.

The draw – which took place at the Tate Modern Gallery in London – also sees England grouped with the repechage winner and the Oceania one winners, who have not qualified yet.

It is the first time that Stuart Lancaster’s team have hosted the international tournament since 1999.

New Zealand, who lifted the Webb Ellis trophy last year, have been grouped alongside Argentina and Tonga.

Back in 2003, England were victorious in the World Cup after Jonny Wilkinson kicked an extra-time drop goal against Australia in their own backyard.

Speaking about the prospect of hosting a World Cup, Lancaster said: "It is unbelievably exciting. Twelve months ago I went out to New Zealand for two weeks and got a little sample of what it is like and the impact on that country.

"We have seen what the Olympic Games did for our country and the next big sporting event is the 2015 Rugby World Cup. By that time everybody is going to be revved up and it's going to be a big party."

As for the arduous task of facing Australia and reigning Six Nations champions Wales, Lancaster continued: “It is definitely a pretty tough pool. To win the World Cup you have to win big games and I have got a huge amount of respect for what Wales have done recently.

"We know their squad pretty well, it is a young side and a lot of them will still be around in 2015.

"Australia have just beaten us and if you look at the age and profile of their squad, they have got some young lads as well. We will look forward to it."

The full draw for the 2015 World Cup is as follows:

Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, play-off winner.
Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2.
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1.
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2.

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