The battle lines for the 2015 Rugby World Cup will be drawn in London on Monday with the confirmation of the pool draw. Join us from 2.00pm for discussion and coverage
Tate Modern will play host to the sport's biggest names who will be eager to see who they will be grouped with for the sport's showpiece event that is scheduled to take place in England between September 18 to October 31, 2015.
Defending champions and top ranked side New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and France are the top seeds for the draw and will be kept apart in the pool stages. England, Ireland, Samoa and Argentina form the second group of seeds and will be drawn alongside one of the for sides ranked above them. And there's Wales ... out of the top eight and facing a tough draw.
Incidentally, Six Nations betting from Bet365 has England 2-1 to win it outright, co favourites with France and Wales back at 7-2, not overly generous given the last month. Scotland 25-1. You could give double that and it wouldn’t be worth a punt.
The venue for the draw is the most iconic of rugby locations. Yes, it's at the Tate Modern in London. Graham Jenkins will be giving his opinion on the draw plus a rundown on 21st century British art shortly after the event winds up
A reminder of who's where in the draw:-
Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Ireland, Samoa, Argentina
Band 3: Wales, Italy, Tonga, Scotland
Band 4: Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1, Americas 1
Band 5: Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Repechage winner
The shy and retiring Boris Johnson will be taking to the stage any minute. Fitting to have man who went to a minor public school where football is preferred to rugby to set the thing in motion
Don't be fooled by the picture. there are a few people there. Journalists will never miss out on free sandwiches
Would they have invited the mayor had it been Ken Livingstone? Minutes to go ...
2015 will be the second time England have hosted the competition, the last time being in 1991 when the hosts lost to Australia in the final.
Japan will host the tournament in 2019.
Will Greenwood introduces the event wearing a tie he must have put on as bet.
Polite applause for Bernard Lapasset, chairman of the RWC. And a more sensible tie as befits a Frenchman. Introductory speech being delivered
Bernard says the "British are fantastic hosts who love a party". We like him more and more. Now to Andy Cosslett, chairman of the 2015 event, for some more pleasantries
Here comes Boris. Cue self promotion and rehearsed ad libs
Boris ... "4.2 billion people will watch around the world the greatest tournament of the oval ball ever held." Seriously? 4.2 billion?
Chris - it gives a long time to sell tickets ... whatever they say in this day and age commercial reasons are usually to the fore
If there will be 4.2 million people watching then that makes it more popular than the Olympics or the football World Cup. Surely some mistake, Boris?
An explanation of how this works. In essence balls out of a plastic bowl
First lots of draws are all from Band 5 where the qualifiers have yet to be confirmed so all a bit meaningless as a TV events
Band 3: Pool A - Wales; Pool B - Scotland; Pool C - Tonga ; Pool D - Italy
Band 4: Pool A - Oceania 1; Pool B - Asia 1; Pool C - Europe 1; Pool D - Americas 1
Band 2: Pool A - England; Pool B - Samoa Pool C - Argentina; Pool D - ireland
So England and Wales together ... so now for NZ in Pool A? Surely not ...
Pool A -Australia in with England and Wales!
Australia, England, Wales together in Pool A, South Africa, Samoa and Scotland in pool,b, NZ, Argentina and Tonga in Pool C, and in France, Ireland and Italy in Pool D
So, only three years to assesses and digest the draw.
South Africa will love Pool B with Samoa and Scotland to face
Australia, England and Wales could well be joined by Fiji, in so doing making it the Pool of Death. There always has to be ba Pool of Death even if only to keep the media and headline writers happy
Stuart Lancaster speaks to Will Greenwood. And the first question is about last Saturday!
Lancaster remains calm but positive. As well he might. Three years is a long long time ... look what a difference a week has made in his life
Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, Playoff winner.
Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2.
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1.
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2.
So that's it. An interesting draw and check out the site later for the lowdown on what the experts think.