Thu 2 Nov 2017 | 02:17

WORLD CUP 2019: Now it is real

England coach Eddie Jones on World Cup 2019 schedule
Thu 2 Nov 2017 | 02:17

WORLD CUP 2019: Now it is real

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England coach Eddie Jones says the start of the World Cup seems very real.

Jones' side take on Tonga, the United States, Argentina and France.

"When you see your team and who you are actually playing against in the venue it becomes a lot more real," said Jones.

England's hopes of knocking the mighty All Blacks off their perch were complicated by a horror draw earlier this year.

England have a mixed World Cup record against three-time finalists France, their last meeting a quarterfinal defeat in 2011.

They have won both of their World Cup games so far against Argentina, but the swashbuckling Pumas are capable of beating anyone on their day.

"Our aim is to win the World Cup and support for the team will be an important factor," said Jones.

"We hope to see as many England fans as possible getting behind us in Japan as we try to achieve our ultimate goal."

New Zealand will avoid England, France or Argentina in the quarterfinals, beginning on October 19, with two of the Group C trio set to collide with the top two in Group D, widely expected to be Australia and Wales.

Two-time champions Australia face a potentially tricky opener against Fiji in Pool D, where rivals Wales open against Georgia.

"No matter where or when we've got to be ready for it," Wallabies coach Michael Cheika told local media.

"We don't need to know now what the colour of the grass is."

Wales coach Warren Gatland also said once you have the full details, the "excitement" for the tournament really grows.

"We have spoken recently about our aims and belief for 2019 and how our focus over the next two years is to provide a platform for us to peak in Japan," Gatland said.

"With this announcement we can continue our planning and preparation for the tournament in finer detail.

"We kick off the tournament against Georgia before facing Australia, both of whom we play this November in Cardiff.

"We then have a good block of time before facing Fiji in Oita, before the short turnaround before our final pool encounter versus Americas Two.

"We have four cities to visit so it is important we buy into the culture of Japan and the tournament."

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WORLD CUP 2019: Now it is real | Rugby365