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
Wales U20 duo Leon Brown and Lloyd Lewis face a busy couple of weeks ahead. Not only will they have a Junior World Championship to take part in, they are both sitting A Level exams during the competition.
Wales U20 face a tough group in the Junior World Championship with France, England and Japan lying in wait but Attack coach Jason Strange and back rower Tom Phillips are looking forward to the campaign ahead.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.