Wallabies facing "pool of death” for World Cup
DESPITE the Wallabies' disastrous 2016, Australia has secured a top four seeding for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
South Africa and Argentina, however, lurk as potential "pool of death” groupmates for the Wallabies, with the latter sliding down to ninth in the latest World Rugby rankings.
Australia's top-four seeding means that Michael Cheika's team cannot be drawn alongside back to back world champions, New Zealand, Six Nations champions England or Ireland (who are the only side to have beaten the top three ranked nations in the past year).
The Wallabies didn't manage a win against New Zealand (0-3), England (0-4) or Ireland (0-1) in 2016.
Scotland, France, South Africa and Wales form the second band of pool sides, with 2015 semi-finalists Argentina slumping to the third tier in ninth position.
Fiji, Japan and Georgia round out the top 12.
Argentina's ninth-place seeding, therefore, means whoever is grouped alongside Los Pumas will in effect be the group of death.
The pool draw for the 2019 World Cup, the first to be held in Asia, will take place in Kyoto, Japan, on May 10.
In 2015, Australia, England, Wales and Fiji formed a group of death, after Wales briefly slipped outside the top eight on the world rugby standings.
As history shows England became the first host nation to exit at the pool stage.
Australia, meanwhile, went undefeated through the pool stage, but stumbled at the final hurdle in the final to New Zealand going down 34-14 in the final at Twickenham.