Canada will get a better idea Monday of its possible road at the Rugby World Cup as the 2015 Pool Allocation Draw is held at the Tate Modern art gallery on the South Bank in London.
The draw allocates the top 12 teams in the world among the four tournament pools, which will be topped up by two countries per group via qualifying.
Canada can join the big boys this summer through a home-and-away series against the U.S. Eagles.
The winner qualifies as Americas 1, with the loser moving on to a home-and-away series with a South American team to determine who will be Americas 2 at the 20-team World Cup. The loser of that playoff has a last-chance qualification route via a repechage.
Canada, which went 1-2-0 in its November tour, dropped to No. 14 last week in the IRB rankings. The U.S. is No. 16.
Uruguay, ranked 22nd, will be looking to get past the final hurdle in Americas qualifying after falling short at the hands of Romania ahead of the 2011 tournament and missing out by a single point on aggregate to Portugal in 2007.
The November internationals played their part in the tournament draw in that the rankings determine where the top 12 qualified teams are placed in the draw.
By placing No. 1 through 4 in rankings to be announced Monday, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France will be seeded teams and kept apart in the opening round.
Host England, Ireland, Samoa and Argentina, ranked 5 through 8, will be placed in a second pot for the draw. A third pot will contain Wales, Italy, Tonga and Scotland, ranked No. 9 through 12.
The fourth pot in Monday’s draw will include Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1 and Americas 1 while the fifth pot contains Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2 and the repechage winner.
Two teams from each pool will advance to the knockout quarter-finals.
In the 2011 tournament in New Zealand, the Canadians finished fourth with a 1-2-1 record in a pool that included the All Blacks, France, Japan and Tonga.
Wales is the big loser ahead of Monday’s draw, dropping down to the third tier as a result of recent poor results.
Losses to Australia and South Africa dropped England out of the first tier but the English made a point Saturday by upsetting the top-ranked All Blacks 38-21 at Twickenham.
Rugby World Cup organizers plan to start selling tickets in 2013. Having the draw ahead of time allows time “to identify the big fixtures and ensure the best-possible alignment of venues to fixtures to enable fans to access the teams they support and meet demand.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson and Rugby World Cup chairman Bernard Lapasset will be among the dignitaries at the draw. Also in attendance will be the captains and coaches from the 12 teams already qualified.
Canada will be represented by Gareth Rees, former captain and current manager of the national men’s program. Coach Kieran Crowley was with the sevens side at the Dubai tournament that wrapped up Saturday.
The World Cup kicks off Sept. 18, 2015.