Hosts India were placed with familiar rivals England in Pool D of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, at the draw ceremony in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

Spain and Wales complete Pool D of the elite competition that will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to 29 next year.

Defending champions Belgium are in Pool B with Germany, along with Asian sides South Korea and Japan.

The tournament involves 16 participating national teams, that includes India, the hosts of the competition, whilst Malaysia, Japan and South Korea are the other Asian teams. Africa is represented by South Africa, recent winners of the Africa Cup of Nations. Seven teams from Europe have qualified for the competition - Belgium, England, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France and Wales.

Pan American Cup 2022 champions Argentina and runners-up Chile are the two American teams to qualify for the tournament, while Australia and New Zealand, from Oceania, complete the draw.

#HWC2023 Draw (World ranks in bracket)

Pool A: Australia (1), Argentina (7), France (11), South Africa (14)

Pool B: Belgium (2), Germany (4), Korea (12), Japan (17)

Pool C: Netherlands (3), New Zealand (9), Malaysia (10), Chile (23)

Pool D: India (5), England (6), Spain (8), Wales (16)

Pool A is headed up by current FIH World Rankings No 1 Australia, who got the bronze medal at the last World Cup in 2018. They will play 2016 Olympic Champions Argentina (WR:7), France (WR:11), playing their fourth World Cup, and African Champions South Africa (WR:14).

In Pool B, reigning World Champions Belgium (WR:2) are the top seed and they were drawn to face 2002 and 2006 World Champions Germany (WR:4). Both European teams will face two representatives from Asia, namely Korea (WR:12) and Japan (WR:17).

Pool C will feature the finalists from the last edition, the Netherlands (WR:3), at the head of the group. They will come up against the other Oceania’s representative New Zealand (WR:9), Malaysia (WR:10), playing their ninth World Cup, and newcomers Chile (WR:23), participating for the very first time in a FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup.

In Pool D, hosts India are the highest ranked side (WR:5). They will face England (WR:6), which they’ve recently met at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 for a thrilling encounter (4-4), two-time silver medallists (1971, 1998) Spain (WR:8) and Wales (WR: 16), who, like Chile, will play their first World Cup.

In the last edition also hosted in Bhubaneswar, in 2018, Belgium claimed their first title by beating three-time champions Netherlands in the final, while Australia finished third.