Wales will face the inaugural World champions New Zealand in Pool D of the Rugby World Cup in Australia next year.
The All Blacks, who are due in Wales in November and who will entertain Wales down under next summer, are the top seeds in Pool D with 1999 quarter-finalists Wales as the second drawn team. The runners-up in the European qualifying group, most likely Italy, will join them, along with Repechage 2 winners, possibly Tonga. In the other Pools, England will face 1995 world champions South Africa, while reigning champions Australia have been drawn with Argentina. Second seeds France will play in Pool B with Scotland. The eight quarter-finalists from the last 1999 Rugby World Cup were seeded in the same order they finished then, but none of the other 12 finalists have been decided yet. The remaining 12 spots will be determined by a series of regional qualifying tournaments. The tournament will run from 10th October to 22nd November 2003, with matches to be played in major cities around Australia. Sydney's Olympic stadium (Stadium Australia) will host the opening match, between Australia and Argentina on October 10th, as well as the final and both semi-finals. The 20 teams have been split into four pools of five with the top two sides from each group advancing directly to the quarter-finals. 2003 Rugby World Cup Pools Pool A Australia, Argentina, Europe 1, Europe 4, Africa 1
Pool B France, Scotland, Oceania 1, Asia 1, Repechage 1
Pool C South Africa, England, Oceania 2, America 2, Europe 3
Pool D New Zealand, Wales, America 1, Europe 2, Repechage 2
2003 Rugby World Cup Game Schedule 10 Oct: Australia v Argentina (Pool A) Sydney
11 Oct: New Zealand v Europe 2 (Pool D) Melbourne
11 Oct: France v Oceania 1 (Pool B) Brisbane
11 Oct: Europe1 v Europe 4 (Pool A) Gosford
11 Oct: South Africa v America 2 (Pool C) Perth
12 Oct: Wales v America 1 (Pool D) Melbourne
12 Oct: Scotland v Asia (Pool B) Townsville
12 Oct: England v Europe 3 (Pool C) Perth
14 Oct: Argentina v Africa 1 (Pool A) Gosford
15 Oct: Oceania 1 v Repechage 1 (Pool B) Brisbane
15 Oct: Europe 2 v Repechage 2 (Pool D) Canberra
15 Oct: Oceania 2 v America 2 (Pool C) Perth
17 Oct: New Zealand v America 1 (Pool D) Melbourne
18 Oct: Australia v Europe 4 (Pool A) Brisbane
18 Oct: France v Asia (Pool B) Townsville
18 Oct: South Africa v England (Pool C) Perth
19 Oct: Wales v Repechage 2 (Pool D) Canberra
19 Oct: Europe 1 v Africa 1 (Pool A) Sydney
19 Oct: Europe 3 v Oceania 2 (Pool C) Perth
20 Oct: Scotland v Repechage 1 (Pool B) Brisbane
21 Oct: Europe 2 v America 1 (Pool D) Canberra
22 Oct: Argentina v Europe 4 (Pool A) Sydney
23 Oct: Oceania 1 v Asia (Pool B) Townsville
24 Oct: New Zealand v Repechage 2 (Pool D) Brisbane
24 Oct: South Africa v Europe 3 (Pool C) Sydney
25 Oct: Australia v Africa 1 (Pool A) Adelaide
25 Oct: Europe 2 v Wales (Pool D) Canberra
25 Oct: France v Scotland (Pool B) Sydney
26 Oct: England v Oceania 2 (Pool C) Melbourne
26 Oct: Argentina v Europe 1 (Pool A) Adelaide
27 Oct: Asia v Repechage 1 (Pool B) Gosford
28 Oct: Europe 3 v America 2 (Pool C) Sydney
29 Oct: America 1 v Repechage 2 (Pool D) Wollongong
30 Oct: Africa 1 v Europe 4 (Pool A) Launceston
31 Oct: France v Repechage 1 (Pool B) Wollongong
01 November: Scotland v Oceania 1 (Pool B) Sydney
01 Nov: South Africa v Oceania 2 (Pool C) Brisbane
01 Nov: Australia v Europe 1 (Pool A) Melbourne
02 Nov: England v America 2 (Pool C) Brisbane
02 Nov: New Zealand v Wales (Pool D) Sydney
Quarter-finals 08 Nov: Winner D v Runner up C (QF1) Melbourne
08 Nov: Winner A v Runner up B (QF2) Brisbane
09 Nov: Winner B v Runner up A (QF3) Melbourne
09 Nov: Winner C v Runner up D (QF4) Brisbane
Semi-finals 15 Nov: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2 (SF1) Sydney
16 Nov: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4 (SF2) Sydney
20 Nov: Loser SF1 v Loser SF2 (Play-off) Sydney
Final 22 Nov: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (Final) Sydney
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.