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
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.