How England’s pool measures up

ENGLAND

World ranking: 5
World Cup appearances: 7
Best result: Winners (2003)
Head coach: Stuart Lancaster
Star man: Manu Tuilagi has the explosive power and speed to break any international defence and has become an integral part of the side. With nine tries in 17 England caps, the 21-year-old centre will be essential come 2015
Form: Beat world champions New Zealand on Saturday with some dynamic rugby but careless decisions were costly, losing narrowly to Australia and South Africa in the autumn internationals

WALES

World ranking: 9
World Cup appearances: 7
Best result: Third (1987)
Head coach: Warren Gatland
Star man: George North inspired Wales to Six Nations Grand Slam glory in March, becoming the youngest player ever, then 19, to score 10 international tries. By 2015 the youngster’s game should be more refined and more potent
Form: Saturday’s agonising last minute 14-12 defeat to the Wallabies condemned Wales to an autumn international series whitewash and their seventh straight defeat

AUSTRALIA

World ranking: 3
World Cup appearances: 7
Best result: Winners (1991, 1999)
Head coach: Robbie Deans
Star man: David Pocock captained Australia to their 3-0 summer series win over Wales and was becoming an integral part of the side before injury in August. The 24-year-old flanker is key for the Wallabies at the breakdown
Form: Despite having to deal with a succession of injuries, defeated England, Italy and Wales this autumn, bouncing back after a humiliating 33-6 loss to France earlier in November

POOL A

Australia
ENGLAND
WALES
Oceania 1 (qualifier)
Play-off winner

POOL B

South Africa
Samoa
SCOTLAND
Asia 1 (qualifier)
Americas 2 (qualifier)

POOL C

New Zealand
Argentina
Tonga
Europe 1 (qualifier)
Africa 1 (qualifier)

POOL D

France
IRELAND
Italy
Americas 1 (qualifier)
Europe 2 (qualifier)