Warren Gatland welcomes Wales' 2019 World Cup draw

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland guided the 2013 Lions to a 2-1 Test series win over Australia

Warren Gatland has welcomed Wales' 2019 Rugby World Cup draw that pits them against Australia and Georgia.

Wales will also face Oceania's top team and the second best nation from the Americas at the tournament.

Gatland will prepare Wales after returning from guiding the 2017 British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.

He expects Fiji to take the Oceania 1 spot and told the Welsh Rugby Union: "I think we're pretty happy with the draw."

Tonga and Samoa are also competing with Fiji for the Oceania 1 place while either United States or Canada are likely to take the Americas 2 place in Pool D.

Wales' 12 consecutive defeats by Australia

Australia's Israel Folau halts George North at the 2015 World Cup
Australia's Israel Folau halts George North of Wales at the 2015 World Cup

Wales have beaten the Wallabies only once at a World Cup, to take third place at the inaugural 1987 event.

Australia triumphed over Wales in 1991, 1999 and beat Wales to third place in 2011 before also going on to beat Gatland's side at the 2015 tournament.

Wales reached the 2015 quarter-finals where they lost to South Africa after beating England, Fiji, Uruguay at the pool stage.

Wales have also not beaten Australia since 2008, losing 12 consecutive times against them since.

The two teams will also face each other again in November, 2017 when Gatland's side will also face Georgia in Cardiff.

'Tough, competitive, but what you want'

Gatland added: "We get Australia again (in 2019). It looks like it could be Fiji - a couple of teams from 2015.

"I think we're pretty happy with the draw.

"I mean every group's going to have some tough teams in it, but from a Welsh perspective you've got to be happy with how it's turned out.

"It's going to be tough. It's going to be competitive, but that's what you want."

Australia wing legend David Campese told BBC Wales Sport: "I suppose Australia would rather be playing Wales than playing the All Blacks in a pool game.

"I think mentally we've got the edge over them at the moment, but anything can happen."

England face France and Argentina in 2019 in a pool already viewed as the tournament's 'group of death' while holders New Zealand will take on the Springboks and Italy.

The 12 teams who automatically qualified by finishing in the top three of their groups in 2015 have been drawn.

The eight remaining teams have had their slots allocated and will be determined by the qualification process that ends in 2018.

The World Cup runs from 20 September to 2 November 2019.

RWC 2019 Full draw

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner (Europe 2 v Oceania 3)

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2

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