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All Blacks avoid England in 2015 Rugby World Cup draw

updated 2:23 PM EST, Mon December 3, 2012
England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster with the Webb Ellis trophy after the draw for the 2015 World Cup, which his country will host. England will be in the toughest group along with Wales and Australia. England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster with the Webb Ellis trophy after the draw for the 2015 World Cup, which his country will host. England will be in the toughest group along with Wales and Australia.
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Tough draw
All Blacks rewarded
Carter's consolation
Kiwis crushed
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • All Blacks drawn with Argentina and Tonga in draw for 2015 Rugby World Cup
  • Tournament hosts England in toughest pool along with Australia and Wales
  • South Africa, the 2007 champions, will line up against Samoa and Scotland
  • Last year's runners-up France will take on Ireland and Italy in Group D

(CNN) -- After England's shock victory over top-ranked New Zealand on Saturday, rugby fans were delighting in the prospect that the two nations might be drawn together for the 2015 World Cup.

However, such a meeting will not happen before the knockout stages of the tournament after hosts England came out of the hat with Australia and Six Nations champions Wales and two qualifiers in Group A on Monday.

The All Blacks, who won the World Cup on home soil last year for the first time since its inaugural staging in 1987, will line up against Argentina, Tonga and a qualifier from Europe and Africa in Group C.

The Kiwis were top of the four seeds along with South Africa, Australia and last year's runners-up France.

The French will take on Ireland, Italy and qualifiers from Europe and the Americas in Group D while the Springboks -- champions in 2007 -- will play Samoa, Scotland and teams from the Asia and Americas playoffs.

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England unexpectedly halted New Zealand's 20-match unbeaten run with a 38-21 win at Twickenham, having lost narrowly to South Africa and Australia in the traditional end-of-season tour matches by southern hemisphere sides.

Following that upset result, 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward said his country would be the team that all others hoped to avoid at Monday's draw in London.

Present coach Stuart Lancaster hopes his young England team can continue to develop and peak in time to survive in the toughest group of the 2015 World Cup -- only two teams go through from each pool.

It will be the first time that England and Wales have met in the group stage.

"It is definitely a pretty tough pool. To win the World Cup you have to win big games and I have got a huge amount of respect for what Wales have done recently," Lancaster told the English RFU website.

"We know their squad pretty well, it is a young side and a lot of them will still be around in 2015. Australia have just beaten us and if you look at the age and profile of their squad, they have got some young lads as well. We will look forward to it."

Lancaster took over the coaching role from Martin Johnson, who was unable to emulate his 2003 World Cup success as a player when the England team traveled Down Under last year.

Hampered by off-field controversies, the English failed to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1999, when they were hosts.

"Twelve months ago I went out to New Zealand for two weeks and got a little sample of what it is like and the impact on that country," Lancaster said.

"We have seen what the Olympic Games did for our country and the next big sporting event is the 2015 Rugby World Cup. By that time everybody is going to be revved up and it's going to be a big party."

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Dan Carter has been named as the International Rugby Board's world player of the year for the second time.

The fly-half has bounced back from the disappointment of missing most of the 2011 World Cup due to injury by inspiring the All Blacks to a perfect record of six wins in the inaugural Rugby Championship -- which featured the Tri-Nations teams plus Argentina -- and victory in the Bledisloe Cup series against Australia for the 10th year in a row.

The 30-year-old extended his world record points-scoring tally to 1,385 from 94 Tests despite a below-par performance against England.

Carter headed off his captain Richie McCaw, a three-time winner, England's Owen Farrell -- who scored 17 points on Saturday -- and France fly-half Frederic Michalak.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen followed his predecessor Graham Henry by keeping that award in New Zealand's ownership, while the Kiwis were also named best team for the third year in a row.

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