1 Dec 2008

Final seedings made for Rugby World Cup draw

6:42 am on 1 December 2008

The International Rugby Board has confirmed that southern hemisphere sides have secured the top four positions for tomorrow's pool draw for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

For the first time the IRB is using its own world rankings to seed leading nations for the World Cup, which will next take place in New Zealand.

The cut-off point for the draw was the ranking positions teams occupied yesterday... New Zealand's 32-6 win over England at Twickenham, which sealed a grand slam of victories over the four home unions, cemented their grip on first place.

By contrast, England's defeat ensured Argentina remained among the top four teams in the draw.

The Pumas, who finished third at the 2007 World Cup, will therefore avoid New Zealand, defending champions South Africa and Australia in the draw for the first round pool phase.

Wales, England, France and Ireland are in the second band, while Scotland, Fiji, Italy and Tonga are in the third band.... the last 8 teams will be decided by qualifying matches.

Teams in each band will be drawn randomly into one of the four pools.