England to open Women's RWC defense vs US, Italy, qualifier

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) Titleholder England was drawn with inaugural champion the United States, Italy, and a European qualifier for the Women's Rugby World Cup next year.

Scotland and Spain meet in Glasgow and Madrid this month to fill the fourth and last vacancy in Pool B.

New Zealand, the four-time champion which failed to advance from its pool in France two years ago, was in Pool A with 2014 runner-up Canada, Wales, and the Asia-Oceania qualifying runner-up.

Pool C featured host Ireland, Australia, France, and the winner between Fiji, Hong Kong, and Japan.

The tournament runs from Aug. 9-26. The pool games will be in Dublin, and the playoff matches in Belfast, where the draw was staged on Wednesday.