Michael Hooper will lead the Wallabies at the World Cup barring injury.
Michael Hooper will lead the Wallabies at the World Cup barring injury.

Nemesis awaits Wallabies at World Cup

MICHAEL Hooper's Wallabies will likely face a sudden-death quarterfinal against Eddie Jones and England, the fickle French or Argentina after Thursday's unveiling of match scheduling for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

If Jones has England humming, as he currently has, the men wearing the red rose will top Pool C and happily avoid the Wallabies which will suit Michael Cheika just fine.

SEE THE WALLABIES' POOL D DRAW BELOW

It will be a fierce fight against the unpredictable French or World Cup high-performers Argentina, as Pool C runners-up, which will likely stand in the road of the Australians advancing further in the tournament.

The Wallabies have to first take care of business in Pool D by beating Wales because not topping the pool would fling them into a head-on collision with England on a different route through the draw.

The Australians open their island-hopping 2019 World Cup campaign against Fiji in the northern city of Sapporo, best known for its snow sports culture as host of the 1972 Winter Olympics.

Coach Michael Cheika welcomed the certainty when the match scheduling was unveiled in Tokyo yet said: "no matter where or when we've got to be ready for it."

"It's almost what you do beforehand to prepare so you are comfortable with what's going to be a busy, bustling environment in Japan so you can go with the flow," Cheika said.

The Wallabies will meet Fiji in Sapporo on September 21, 2019 in an afternoon game when autumn temperatures average 18 degrees so the Pacific islanders need not fear a freezing cold snap.

Hopefully the Wallabies avoid this bloke in the quarters.
Hopefully the Wallabies avoid this bloke in the quarters.

It's likely the Wallabies will study a possible pre-World Cup base on the northern island of Hokkaido to flow into the Sapporo match before flying south to Tokyo Stadium for the September 29 blockbuster against regular rivals Wales.

There will be another flight to the smaller centre of Oita to likely meet Canada or Uruguay, a qualifier out of the Americas, on October 5 before the clash against Georgia in Shizuoka on October 11.

"We'll have our preparation done in the background on all the venues and environments but we don't need to know now what the colour of the grass is," Cheika said.

The Wallabies beat Los Pumas in the 2015 World Cup semis.
The Wallabies beat Los Pumas in the 2015 World Cup semis.

"We are in Japan two years to the day before the World Cup final (November 2) which is all good but it is in the background when we are only wanting to play our best rugby against Japan in a Test on Saturday."

The 48 matches of the tournament will be spread over 12 cities with hosts Japan choosing to open the first World Cup in Asia with a sellout night clash against a European qualifier in Tokyo on September 20, 2019.

Tickets will go on sale from January next year.

WALLABIES AT THE 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP

POOL D

September 21 v Fiji, Sapporo

September 29 v Wales, Tokyo

October 5 v Americas 2 qualifier (Canada or Uruguay), Oita

October 11 v Georgia, Shizuoka

THE FINALS

October 19-20: Quarter-finals...Oita (2), Tokyo (2)

October 26-27: Semi-finals...Yokohama

November 2: FINAL...Yokohama

OTHER KEY CLASHES

September 20 (Opening game): Japan v Europe 1 qualifier, Tokyo

September 21: NZ v South Africa, Yokohama

October 12: England v France, Yokohama



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