SCOTLAND could be set for a repeat of their dramatic 2015 Rugby World Cup clash against Samoa in Japan in two years’ time, after the Pacific Islanders were resigned to a play-off spot.
Gregor Townsend’s side, who recently completed a summer tour with wins over Italy and Australia and defeat to Fiji, were drawn in Pool A for the 2019 showcase back in May.
The Scots, who were seeded second for the draw, will face Six Nations rivals Ireland and host nation Japan as well as two qualifiers.
One of those could be Samoa after they finished bottom of the Pacific Nations Cup behind winners Fiji and runners-up Tonga following a 38-16 defeat to the Fijians on Saturday.
The loss means the Samoans will now face a play-off against the winner of Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-placed team at the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship, excluding Georgia who have already qualified.
Scotland set up a quarter-final against Australia with a thrilling 36-33 win over Samoa in the final pool match of the 2015 World Cup, surviving a late onslaught by the Pacific Islanders at St James’ Park in Newcastle.
The two nations will lock horns again at Murrayfield later this year, with their match on Saturday 11 November kicking off the autumn test series and marking Townsend’s first home match as head coach of the national team.
Rugby World Cup 2019
Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner
Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repachage winner
Pools C: England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Americas 2