England, France handed tough Rugby World Cup draw

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

England and France were drawn in the same pool alongside Argentina as they were handed a tough assignment for the 2019 World Cup on Wednesday.

Holders New Zealand were bracketed with South Africa and Italy, while hosts Japan got a kinder draw against Ireland and Scotland at a ceremony in Kyoto.

England’s draw in Pool C alongside age-old rivals France, and 2015 semi-finalists Argentina, evoked memories of their nightmare showing four years ago.

On home turf, the 2003 champions embarrassingly failed to reach the knock-outs after landing in a group with Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

Twelve teams were included in Wednesday’s draw by virtue of finishing in the top three of their groups at the 2015 tournament.

Another eight teams from Oceania, Europe, the Americas and Africa will be added after qualifying for the tournament in Japan in two years’ time.

POOL A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, Play-off Winner

POOL B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, Repechage Winner

POOL C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2

POOL D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2

Most popular

Related Tags

Where to watch the Six Nations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Who will win the Six Nations?

There will be thousands of people in the UAE crowding around screens over the next six weeks as fans of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy watch their countries in action in the Six Nations.

With numerous places to witness the drama unfold, Sport360 has selected our pick of where to watch the Six Nations.

DUBAI

BARASTI
Where: 
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, Al Sufouh Road – Jumeirah Beach

Promotions: A variety of deals on selected beverages.
Contact details: 
043181313 / Click here to see website
Social media: 
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Barasti.

Barasti.

One of the best venues in Dubai to watch the most prestigious tournament in rugby unfold. The beach bar will be showing all the matches on its giant screen, and there will be eight new TVs positioned around the front bar area. Food and beverages are served daily, with house beverages served from midday.

BIDI BONDI
Where: 
The Palm Shoreline
Promotions: 
Deals on buckets of beverages.
Contact details: 
044270515
Social media: 
Facebook

Bidis.

Bidi Bondi.

An Australian sports bar located on Palm Jumeirah, Bodi Bondi has a superb outdoor area and several flat screen TVs with projectors to allow for a more cinematic view of the games. The nachos, chicken wings and ribs are highly recommended for hungry fans. A lively atmosphere is guaranteed, particularly if England, Wales or Scotland are playing.

BRIDGEWATER TAVERN

Where: JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay
Promotions: Deals on buckets of beverages.
Contact details: 044140000
Social media: Facebook

Located in JW Marriott Marquis in Business Bay, Bridgewater Tavern is an edgy sports bar with a gastrodive feel, serving nouveau drinking food. Blurring the lines between bar and restaurant – Bridgewater Tavern is at the forefront of redefining sports bar culture, creating an ideal place for serious food lovers and thrill-seekers.

GARDEN ON 8
Contact details: 04271000Click here to book table online
Social media: 
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Garden on 8 is based in a great location in Media City, and will be showing all the games live on a large projector screen. Throughout the tournament they will be hosting ‘Garden Fest’ – a celebration of food, beverages and live sport. Brilliant atmosphere guaranteed.

GIRDERS
Where:
JA Ocean View Hotel on JBR
Promotions:
Happy hour 4-7pm daily
Contact details:
048145590
Social media: Girders The Walk

Girders offers a fantastic setting that unsurprisingly draws big crowds. With the largest screen in JBR, Girders is the self-proclaimed ‘home of the Six Nations’. The steak and ale pie is a must.

KICKERS,
Where: 
Dubai Sports City
Contact details:
044481592 / Click here for website
Social media: 
Facebook

Kickers.

Kickers.

The fun will continue as Kickers shifts indoors for the Six Nations. It’s a great chance to unwind at the end of a working week, while at the same time, enjoying the live rugby and some highly quality entertained. Kickers, the location for Friday Night Bar Live, is open from 12 noon to midnight every day and offers something for everyone.

LOCK, STOCK  & BARREL

Where: 8th Floor, Grand Millennium Hotel Dubai, Tecom, Dubai
Contact details: 0568347286 / Click here for website
Social media: Facebook

Lock Stock.

Lock Stock.

Tecom’s newest bar quickly gained a reputation for its plethora of sports screens combined with an on-trend urban vibe, which is the perfect to watch the rugby.

The 8,000sqm venue encompasses 11 TV screens, two fully stocked bars, one music stage and a menu full of Southern American classics from Maryland-style blue crab cakes to mac’n’cheese.

NEZESAUSSI GRILL
Where:
Manzil Downtown and Address Hotel, Dubai Marina
Contact details: 
044285888
Social media: Nezesaussi

Nezesaussi Grill.

Ultimate sports bar to watch the Six Nations in Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina, Nezesaussi is the perfect habitat for all fans. Its giant screens surrounding the bar make it a perfect venue to chill out and enjoy an après work drink.

IRISH VILLAGE
Where:
Garhoud
Contact details: 
042824750
Social media: Irish Village

Irish Village.

Irish Village.

A lively atmosphere for all the games and certainly if your an Irish fan, it’s one of the best venues to go. The traditional feel in the Irish Village makes for an enjoyable experience.

MCGETTIGANS, DUBAI AND ABU DHABI
Where:
JLT, Madinat Jumeirah, World Trade Centre (all Dubai) and Al Raha Beach Hotel (Abu Dhabi) 
Contact details:
043780800
Social media:
McGettigans

McGettigans.

McGettigans has four bars in the UAE: three in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. With Ireland among the favourites for the Six Nations, this is by far the best place to go and show your support for the boys in green. With reasonably priced food, the chicken wings are a winner and never fail to disappoint.

COOPER’S BAR
Where:
 Park Rotana
Promotions: 
Happy hour deals are daily from 12pm-12am offering 50% off selected beverages.
Contact details: 
026573333
Social media: 
Facebook

Coopers.

Coopers.

One of the capital’s top sports bars, Cooper’s offers superb service and great choice of food and drink. With four plasma screens, you’ll have a great view of all the live action from the tournament. ‘Cooper’s Nachos’ and ‘Fried Calamari’ are among the best dishes on offer.

SPORTSMANS ARMS
Where:
 Zayed Sports City
Contact details: 024034235
Social media:
Facebook

Sportsmans Arms.

Sportsmans Arms.

Located in the International Tennis Stadium of Zayed Sports City, Sportsmans Arms is another great venue to watch the drama unfold in the capital. The American/Irish concept restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy food after taking in the thrilling rugby action.

NRG SPORTS CAFE
Where:
 Le Meridien
Promotions: Deals on buckets of beverages.
Contact details: 026446666
Social media: Facebook

NRG.

NRG.

Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, NRG Sports Café is one of the leading sports bars in the capital. With a spacious surrounding and wide screen plasma televisions you won’t miss any of the action from the Six Nations.

Most popular

Related Sections

#360view: Six Nations obsessed with brawn over brain

James Piercy 11/02/2016
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Brute strength dominated Six Nations openers.

With the BBC and ITV splitting broadcast of the Six Nations in Britain this year both released slick adverts for the tournament last month. The BBC’s promo juxtaposes fans in the stands enjoying themselves soundtracked by The Carpenter’s easy-listening classic ‘Close to You’, with booming tackles on the pitch and marked with bullet-like grunts; while ITV’s offers a first-hand perspective of action on the field, most of which constitutes more bonejuddering hits, plus the odd try.

No spectacular passing, clever handling skills, intricate backline moves or off-loads; the underlying theme is one of blood and thunder, passion and power. Motifs that have under-pinned northern hemisphere rugby for decades. Not that there’s anything wrong with it but, at the same time, these were exactly the virtues that were so derided as, all-bar Scotland, the Six Nations’ teams under-performed to varying degrees at the Rugby World Cup.

The overriding belief was that to catch up with the southern hemisphere giants of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa plus Argentina, Europe’s finest must embrace a more expansive and flexible gameplan. Yet here we are three months later revelling in and extolling exactly what prevents England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales from progressing on the biggest stage.

It’s a strange comfort blanket. And amid all the muscular hype and physical bravado, the opening round of games played out as an underwhelming spectacle.

The build-up to Ireland v Wales had greater intrigue than what occurred on the pitch. The 16-16 result was an interesting conclusion but was there any genuine sustained entertainment over the 80 minutes? Pieces of play anything like the sort of rugby Argentina, Australia or New Zealand produced in September and October that made us all stand up in amazement and joy? Not really.

Kick, chase, lineout, maul, quick ball to the backs, smash them up down the middle, rinse and repeat. Ditto England v Scotland, bar Mako Vunipola’s off-load for Jack Nowell’s try. If you want the Six Nations in microcosm witness Finn Russell, one of European rugby’s most talented playmakers, electing to kick for space after intercepting Ben Youngs’ pass inside his own 22 with Stuart Hogg outside him. Can you imagine Beauden Barrett or Matt Toomua following suit?

It was left for France’s narrow win over Italy to provide any real drama as the Azzurri ran Les Bleus close at the Stade de France, with both sides, at times, playing some flamboyant running rugby.

Error-ridden it may have been but there was a dynamism and flair so lacking in the other contests. Which, when you look at the situation in 2016 is even more curious: all four of the sides from the British Isles have southern hemisphere coaches, while domestically the Premiership, Pro12 and Top 14 have enjoyed a whole host of players migrating from Super Rugby. But the influence, in terms of changing the overall dynamic, has been minimal.

Ireland’s Joe Schmidt and Wales’ Warren Gatland will undoubtedly be in the running for the All Blacks job once Steve Hansen decides to step away. It’s unlikely they’ll, nor be allowed to, adopt the same brand of rugby they have trademarked over the last five years or so. So why do they so readily embrace it now?

The importance placed at grassroots with bulk and brawn over skill is partly responsible; young players are often discarded from some academies if they fail to meet a certain minimum weight. But then again, you can still have size and be skillful – Exhibit A: Brodie Retallick.

But, “rugby isn’t a contact sport, it’s a collision sport”, we’re always told with such pride. There just seems to be an overall reluctance to embrace anything beyond the conventional – a goldfish bowl of grit.

Who was the last genuinely world class, unorthodox, original performer any of the home nations produced? It’s a tough one, maybe even unanswerable.

The Six Nations continues to be a considerable success, in terms of interest and revenue, and the continually-evolving rivalries and endearing personalities maintain a quality narrative. But at the same time its regression to type continues to hold the six teams back.

Most popular

Related Sections