The tournament will take place in Japan
World Rugby will hold the pool draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in May next year.
Based on their official World Rugby rankings teams will be drawn into pools and hosts Japan favoured an early draw for logistical reasons.
Established nations preferred a later date to avoid a repeat of 2015's "group of death" scenario, whereby higher ranked teams Wales, England and Australia were all drawn in the same group.
Next year now poses a huge task for Ireland, to remain high in the rankings and receive a favourable draw.
In this intervening time, Joe Schmidt's men face South Africa (3), New Zealand (2), Australia and the Six Nations next year.