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Rugby: Italy drawn with France, Ireland at World Cup

'Hard' says captain Parisse

Rugby: Italy drawn with France, Ireland at World Cup

Rome, December 3 - Italy will face Ireland and France in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup after being drawn in Pool D on Monday. Two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition from a group that will also feature two yet-to-be-established qualifiers. "France, Ireland... hard!" Azzurri captain Sergio Parisse said via Twitter. Italy have taken part in each Rugby World Cup since the first one was held in 1987 but they have never gone through to the knockout stage of the competition. "Same goal, qualify for the quarter-finals!" said Parisse. "3 years of work... we're on the right road". Italy have beaten Ireland three times in their history although the wins come from before the Azzurri joined the Six Nations in 2000. They have beaten France twice, including their memorable first-ever Six Nations win over their Mediterranean neighbours last year. World champions New Zealand are in Pool C with Argentina and Tonga. Two-time world champions Australia are in a group of death with 2003 winners England and Wales, semi-finalists last year, in Pool A. Pool B is made up of South Africa, winners in 1995 and 2007, Samoa and Scotland.

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