World rugby boss Alan Gilpin announced changes to the draw arrangements at upcoming World Cups on Wednesday after criticism over the format used for the World Cup in France in September. The draw for the 2023 edition was made in 2020 but the world ranking has since evolved and the first four nations - Ireland, France, New Zealand and South Africa - find themselves in the same part of table. Which means that only two of these teams will advance to the semi-finals.
Ireland, the current best team in the world, is thus in pool B with South Africa, defending champion, and Scotland, for only two qualifying places for the quarter-finals. Unlike England, who have only won two of their five matches in the Six Nations Tournament this year and who will benefit from an a priori easy run in Pool D, with Japan and Argentina, and until the semi-finals.
World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin told a conference in London that he "completely" understood the criticism voiced by supporters. “And I also understand the frustration of the coaches and the players,” he added, explaining that the world body would now follow the example of football, where the draws for the World Cup and the Euro intervene less often. a year before the start of the competition. The Mondial-2023 has an uneven picture “because of the date of the draw”, he admitted. "We use world rankings, which is the best representation of a team's strengths and weaknesses, but it was done at a time which, compared to now, may become obsolete."