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