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
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.
Defending champions Coleg Sir Gar reached their second consecutive Millennium Stadium final as they defeated Coleg Gwent in the WRU Wednesday Under 18 play-off. Watch highlights of their narrow 10-8 win here.