Organizers and team officials gathered in the former Japanese capital of Kyoto on May 10, participating in the draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The draw took place at the Kyoto State Guest House.

Japan was the first team drawn from the hat at the event, being placed into group A.
(World Rugby via Getty Images)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in the draw. "I will help decide Japan's pool, and I'm nervous - more nervous than when I dressed up like Mario," he said, refering to his appearance in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

(World Rugby via Getty Images)

Group A saw Japan drawn against Ireland, Scotland, Europe 1, and the playoff winner.

Japan coach Jamie Joseph said the two seeds seeded above the Brave Blossoms were both quality sides. "Scotland came here last year and even in the heat we struggled against them and to date Japan have never beaten them so that shows how good they are."

Bill Beaumont, Chairman of World Rugby ( (World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images))

(World Rugby via Getty Images)

Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, draws New Zealand.

Steve Hansen heads two-time defending champions and three-time winners New Zealand, which will play South Africa (winners in 1995 and 2007), Italy, Africa 1 and the Repechage winner in Pool B.

(World Rugby via Getty Images)

England coach Eddie Jones said "It's all very exciting isn't it? We've got two tests against Argentina in June so we can practice a little bit." On France, he said "They've really improved over the last 2 years and they'll be a dangerous team.


International Stadium Yokohama, the venue for the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


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