Scotland coach Matt Williams conceded he breathed a sigh of relief at missing out on some tough minnows in the 2007 World Cup draw.
Scotland have been paired in Pool C alongside New Zealand, the first and second qualifiers from Europe and the winner of Repechage 1, which will be a minor team from Europe, Africa or the Americas.
The Scotland team are looking for a vast improvement on their showing in the last World Cup when qualification for the last eight was only sealed by a last-gasp Tom Smith try in a win over Fiji.
Williams has since succeeded current Scottish Rugby Union director of rugby Ian McGeechan as national coach.
But the former Leinster chief's tenure got off to an inauspicious start with a five-game whitewash in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year.
Williams recognises that the improving nations in world rugby now contribute to an even tougher tournament but, after witnessing the draw for the World Cup in France in three years' time, the Scotland coach was simply pleased to avoid a number of potential banana skins in the opening round.
Williams told www.scottishrugby.org: "It's a pretty good draw, particularly given that we won't be facing Argentina, Fiji or Samoa in the pool stages.
"We've drawn the All Blacks and, in all probability, Italy, and we know plenty about both of them.
"Qualification for the knockout stages of the World Cup isn't easy and to be honest all four pools are tough."
The 2007 tournament is being hosted in France with pool matches scheduled to be staged in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Scotland will play three of their four pool games at Murrayfield.
The expectation is that the top game in the pool - Scotland v New Zealand - would be one of those games at Murrayfield but the exact split of the fixtures has yet to be determined.
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