World Rugby got the draw for the pool stage done in characteristically prompt fashion earlier today: more than two years before rugby's quadrennial showpiece rolls around once again, the pool draw was held today, before the identity of all of the competing nations has been finalised.
Ireland were given a favourable draw: in Pool A with Scotland and hosts Japan. The other groups look far more difficult: Italy were landed with the All Blacks and South Africa in Pool B; Pool C features England, France, and Australia; Pool D featuring Australia, Wales, and Georgia.
Around the draw, World Rugby animated a couple of Instagram videos to give followers an introduction to the nations in each pool.
For example, here is the clip featuring Ireland, set against the background of a monochrome Aviva Stadium:
They continued along these lines, but the most notable one of these videos is the final, featuring Australia. Balls reader Dec Bambrick got in touch with us on twitter to point out that the Wallabies' video has as its background not any of the grounds in Australia, but our own Croke Park.
Judge for yourself:
So, is it an encouraging sign that World Rugby have photos of the centrepiece of Ireland's 2023 RWC bid on file?
What does it all mean!?
Or are we simply reading too much into it? (Probably).
Nonetheless, cheers to Derek for getting in touch.