World Rugby boss Sir Bill Beaumont confirms Rugby World Cup draw changes

 Credit: Alamy

Credit: Alamy

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont has explained why the Rugby World Cup draw was made so early and that they are looking for resolutions for the next men’s tournament in 2027.

The pools were announced for the 2023 competition on 14 December 2020, just under three years out from the start of the World Cup in France.

World Rugby were widely criticised for holding it then, with so much time to go until the tournament began, and it has since proven to be a mistake.


It has resulted in a lopsided draw, with the top five nations in the rankings in either Pool A or B. As a result, two of the current top four teams – France, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa – will not make it into the semi-finals.

Beaumont explained why they did it but understood the complaints and insisted that going forward they would be holding it “as late as possible.”

“The reason why the pool draws were made earlier was because of the surety of the host cities and knowing where teams were going, which is very important,” he told The Breakdown.

“What we will be doing is looking to have the pool draw as late as possible so that you get more consistency around the balance in a pool.

“There’s always going to be one pool which is tougher than the others.

“When we go to Australia, we will be looking at how late we can make the pool draw.”

There is now just over one month until the start of the tournament in France, who will host it for the first time since 2007.

That tournament proved to be a success and Beaumont expects the 10th Rugby World Cup to better that effort, both on and off the field.


The build-up has been mired in controversy and scandal following accusations of bullying, favouritism, influence peddling and corruption within the organising committee.

Meanwhile, riots broke out around France recently after the police shot dead teenager Nahel M.

However, despite all that, Beaumont insists they are back on track and that everything is in place for the start of the World Cup.

“I think every one of us is excited. The preparation’s gone really well, all the venues are fantastic and I think what we will see on the field of play will be fantastic,” he added.

“Obviously, there’s been issues around France, but we can now look forward to an exciting World Cup.

“Hopefully there’s excitement, not much controversy and more ball in play. There’s a lot more excitement because nobody really knows deep down who’s going to win it, and I think that is one of the great things about the World Cup this year.

“There’s just something about rugby in a French stadium, and the excitement generated there is second to none.”

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