Steve Hansen slams Rugby World Cup draw and says England and Australia have

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Former Wales and New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has criticised the lopsided World Cup draw that will see three of the world’s top five sides crash out of the tournament before the semi-finals.

The draw for this year’s tournament in France was done back in December 2020, based on the world rankings from the start of that year due to the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the seeding for this year’s tournament was determined by where teams were placed just months after the last World Cup in Japan.

The result of that is Pool A and B being loaded with the teams that currently occupy the top five rankings in the world – Ireland, France, New Zealand, South Africa and Scotland. One of Scotland, South Africa and Ireland will bow out of the group stages, while the other four face each other in the quarter-finals.

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The likes of Wales, England and Australia sit on the other side of the draw – with Warren Gatland’s side in particular benefitting from the early draw after a World Cup cycle spent languishing further down the rankings.

Such has been Wales’ form in recent years that Hansen didn’t even see fit to name the country that he coached between 2002 and 2004 as benefiting from an easier draw, let alone as a contender for the Webb Ellis trophy – with the former All Black coach instead claiming that England and Australia will have an “easy ride”.

Speaking ahead of his World XV side taking on Eddie Jones’ Barbarians at Twickenham this weekend, Hansen questioned why the World Cup draw was so one-sided.

“The World Cup is going to be great,” he said. You’ve got so many good teams.

Read More: Steve Hansen slams Rugby World Cup draw and says England and Australia have 2023-05-23 14:46:22

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