10 May WHAT THEY SAID | Scotland’s opponents react to the draw
Scotland will face Ireland, hosts Japan and Pool A qualifiers ‘Europe 1′ and the cross-continental ‘Play-Off Winner’ in Rugby World Cup 2019 it was confirmed today.
Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt, reflect on the ‘good, bad and ugly’ of the draw while fellow Kiwi and Japan Head Coach, Jamie Jospeh, looks to take his team into unchartered territory and out of a pool that features two teams the Brave Blossoms have yet to defeat.
Schmidt, said: “Look, I think they’re all good, bad and ugly really.
“I think it’s very hard to assess where teams are going to be in two years’ time. The upward curve that Japan have taken in recent times – they got very close to beating Wales at the Millennium Stadium and obviously their heroics at the last World Cup were pretty spectacular.
“I think the Play-Off winner could be Romania most likely, we’re need to be on our mettle, and it could be Tonga, Samoa or Fiji depending on how that pans out because they have traditionally got through and got very strong representation in the previous World Cups.
“We lost to Scotland recently so it’s a mixed bag [of a group] but I think it’s incredibly exciting to draw the host nation. I think the crowd, the enthusiasm and the interest in that game is going to be huge.”
Jospeh, said: “It’s completed now and we have some certainty around who we’re going to play, the planning starts and everyone starts to get excited and look forward to the tournament.
“Looking at the teams we’ve been pooled against, though there’s still a little bit of uncertainty around who Europe 1 and the Play Off Winner will be but we know we’re playing to really tough teams in Ireland and Scotland, two teams that Japan haven’t beaten before as well so that’s a massive challenge ahead of us.”