The Six Nations Just Became A Whole Lot More Important Following World Rugby Announcement


World Rugby has confirmed that the seeding bands for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France will be confirmed after the November international Test window later this year.

The confirmation means this year’s Six Nations will now be of much greater importance as teams look to secure the best possible seeding ahead of the draw.

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Ireland, for example, need results over the next few weeks if they are to climb back into Band 1 with Andy Farrell’s side currently fifth in the world after a disappointing World Cup in Japan under former boss Joe Schmidt.

Their five upcoming Six Nations games, as well as their November series Tests against Australia, South Africa and Japan, will decide what band they fall into, with the men in green currently 0.57 of a point behind Wales in fourth.

For example, the three bands as of January 29 would be:

  • Band 1: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales
  • Band 2: Ireland, Australia, France, Japan
  • Band 3: Scotland, Argentina, Fiji, Italy

The remaining eight teams will come through the global qualification process, which kicks off later this year and will be allocated into bands four and five based on relative strength.

With France at the centre of the sporting universe in 2023 and 2024, World Rugby said the early draw timing enables the France 2023 organising committee to optimise ticket sales ahead of Olympic Games’ tickets going on sale. Tickets for Rugby World Cup 2023 will be available from early 2021.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“The pool draw is an important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France as it really drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout the global rugby family – it is the moment teams and fans can start to plan.

“With the World Rugby Rankings determining the bands for the RWC 2023 pool draw, it promises to be a fascinating year of men’s international rugby with every match counting towards seeding at the end of the November test series, which is exciting for fans.

“With planning and preparation for France 2023 gathering momentum, Paris will provide the perfect setting for what promises to be a fascinating Rugby World Cup 2023 pool draw.”

The location and date for the pool draw will be announced shortly.