The Springboks have drawn Samoa and Scotland as their directly-qualified pool-mates for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Hosts England, who go through as part of the second tier of qualifying nations, will be pooled with fellow hosts Wales (tier 3) and Australia (tier 1) in Pool nA, sure to be dubbed the “Pool of Death” by pundits whose originality is somewhat lacking. With Scotland having dropped into the third tier, Samoa will be the Boks’ highest-ranked pool opposition and will continue a trend of facing the Boks in World Cups stretching back to 1995.
New Zealand will face Argentina and Tonga in Pool C, while France, Ireland and Italy make up Pool D’s top seeds.
South Africa’s other opponents in Pool B are likely to be Japan (as likely top Asian qualifier) and either the USA or Canada.