The Springboks will play Samoa and Scotland in Pool B of the 2015 World Cup.
The draw for the 2015 tournament in England was held on Monday, with the 12 qualified teams being drawn into four pools. The remaining eight teams are still in the process of qualifying and are thus yet to be confirmed.
Of the top four ranked teams in the world, the Boks look to have the easiest route to the 2015 play-offs.
The Boks smashed Samoa at the 2007 World Cup in France, but found the Pacific islanders harder to put away in the 2011 pool fixture in New Zealand. This is bound to be the most physically taxing match of the 2015 round-robin stage, but it is a clash the Boks will feel confident about winning.
Scotland beat South Africa in 2010, but lost by 11 points in this year’s fixture at Murrayfield. Like Samoa, they have never beaten South Africa at a World Cup.
The Boks’ final two pool opponents are yet to be confirmed, but will come out of the Americas and Asia.
The Boks narrowly avoided being drawn in Pool A, the Pool of Death. The Wallabies weren’t so lucky, and will have to beat hosts England, and Wales, who should also enjoy good home support, to top that group.
Proceeding to the knockout rounds won’t be much easier for the French, who will battle Six Nations opponents Ireland and Italy.
Current world champions New Zealand will face off against Argentina, whom they beat in the World Cup quarter-finals last year. The All Blacks have also drawn Tonga in Pool D, a team they played against in the opening game of the 2011 tournament.
At the draw it was also confirmed that the knockout-phase structure will be the same as previous World Cups:
QF1: Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A
QF2: Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D
QF3: Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B
QF4: Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C
SF1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2
SF2: Winner QF3 vs Winner QF4
Bronze Final: Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2
Final: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2