England draw Argentina and Scotland in World Cup

England and Scotland have been drawn in the same group for Rugby World Cup 2011.

But both countries avoided red-hot tournament favourites New Zealand at today's draw, carried out in central London.

England, 2003 World Cup winners and 2007 runners-up, must overcome Scotland, Argentina, plus one other European country to emerge from qualifying and a play-off winner.

England, though, look set to face the All Blacks in the quarter-finals unless they win their group.

Wales have been drawn with reigning world champions South Africa, Fiji - the team that knocked them out of last year's World Cup - Oceania 1 (probably Samoa) and Africa 1.

Ireland are pooled with Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe 2 and Americas 2.

The draw could have been far crueller to England following their miserable autumn Test series in which Australia, South Africa and New Zealand racked up a total of 102 points in smashing Martin Johnson's men at Twickenham.

And the emphasis will now be on England winning their group to set up a possible quarter-final showdown with France.

England and Scotland have met once before in World Cup history - a 1991 semi-final in Edinburgh that the red rose brigade shaded 9-6 before losing to Australia in the final.

England's only previous World Cup meeting with Argentina came in South Africa 13 years ago and resulted in a hard-fought 24-18 success.

Scotland, world-ranked ninth to England's sixth, will not be too unhappy at the draw, given they could have been bracketed in the same pool as New Zealand and France.

The All Blacks' group, which also includes Tonga, Americas 1 and Asia 1, gives New Zealand a chance to avenge their shock 2007 World Cup quarter-final defeat against Les Bleus in Cardiff.

Reigning RBS 6 Nations champions Wales were the only northern hemisphere side to beat Tri-Nations opposition this autumn, defeating Australia 21-18 in Cardiff on Saturday.

And they could face the Wallabies in the 2011 quarter-finals, but to emerge from their group Wales must beat likely Pacific Islands rivals Fiji and Samoa.

Fiji's victory over Wales in Nantes 14 months ago ended Gareth Jenkins' reign as national coach, with New Zealander Warren Gatland then taking over and guiding them to a Six Nations title after just five games in charge.

Samoa look set to be the Oceania qualifiers, with possibly Namibia completing Wales' group as Africa qualifiers.

But the Springboks, despite their world champion status, will not duly alarm Wales, who should have beaten them in Cardiff three weeks ago.

Like Wales, Ireland proved 2007 World Cup flops, yet they have at least avoided their tournament nemesis Argentina, and will not be deterred by an appointment with Australia.

Italy, Europe 2 (possibly Georgia or Romania) and Americas 2 (possibly the USA) will complete Ireland's pool.

With the draw now completed for the 20-team tournament, organisers will press ahead with the match schedule, which they plan to announce in March.

The draw was conducted by Rugby World Cup chairman Bernard Lapasset and Rugby World Cup New Zealand 2011 chairman Jock Hobbs.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power