England’s men have been drawn to face Japan and Egypt in the group stage of the ITTF Team World Cup, while the women will meet Hong Kong and Singapore.

England’s men, who qualified by virtue of their bronze medal at the 2016 World Team Championships, knew they would face either Japan or China because of the seedings.

When the balls were drawn out of the bowls today, it was Group B which welcomed England – the group headed by second seeds Japan.

It means a chance to take on the latest table tennis sensation, 14-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto, at the Copper Box Arena on Thursday evening – the match is scheduled for 7pm.

Tickets are still available for the Thursday evening session – click here to buy tickets

England’s second match will be on Friday (scheduled at noon) against African champions Egypt.

England women will start their campaign against Hong Kong on Thursday morning, following up against Singapore on Friday morning.

Full draw

Group A: China, Sweden, France
Group B: Japan, England, Egypt
Group C: Germany, South Korea, Australia
Group D: Hong Kong, Brazil, USA

Group A: Japan, Egypt, USA
Group B: China, Brazil, North Korea
Group C: Hong Kong, Singapore, England
Group D: Chinese Taipei, Romania, Australia