The 20-team competition will comprise four pools of five countries each.
Seeding’s for the draw are based on the current IRB world rankings, split into groups of four as follows:
Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
Band 2: England, Ireland, Samoa, Argentina
Band 3: Wales, Italy, Tonga, Scotland
Band 4: Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1 and Americas 1
Band 5: Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Repechage winner
The identities of the band four and five nations will be confirmed after the conclusion of World Cup qualifying matches.
A Band One country will be drawn for each of the four pools followed by one from Band Two and Band Three etc.
The top two teams in each pool will advance to the quarterfinals.
The top three teams in each pool will qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The 2015 World Cup in England will run from September 18 to October 31, 2015, with the final at Twickenham.