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Rugby World Cup 2015

Wales coach Gatland slams 'group of hell'

Wales head coach Warren Gatland before his team's game against Fiji
Wales head coach Warren Gatland before his team's game against Fiji Reuters/Paul Childs
2 min

Wales coach Warren Gatland has lashed out at World Cup organisers for creating a "group of hell" that led to the elimation of hosts England at the group stage.

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The draw for the tournament took place three years ago, at a time when Wales were ranked outside the top eight. It grouped Gatland's side in a pool with heavyweights England and Australia, along with Fiji.

Gatland said it was "ridiculous" the draw was made so long ago, adding that if organisers had followed the football World Cup model, the situation would have been avoided.

"We knew how tough this group was going to be right from the start, and not just with England, Australia and ourselves, because Fiji are a tough proposition as well," Gatland said.

"I think if Fiji had been in a couple of other groups, they would have qualified for the quarter-finals as well. It has been not just the group of death, but the group of hell, basically, for all of us."

Following their 33-13 defeat by Australia at Twickenham on Saturday, and their earlier 28-25 loss to Wales, England became the first Rugby World Cup hosts to exit the tournament before the knock-out stages.

Australia's win ensure that Wales qualify for the quarter-finals, regardless of the outcome of their game with the Wallabies this weekend.

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