Romania and Spain won their respective RWC 2019 qualifiers today. Their victories see the two European countries edging closer to qualifying for RWC 2019 in Japan.
For a complete look at countries who can still qualify for RWC 2019 click here.
Romania humiliated Germany 85-6 while Spain pulled-off a shock 20-13 away win over Russia. Spain’s triumph was the first for Los Leones in Russia in 16 years.
The winner of the Rugby Europe Championship will qualify directly for RWC 2019. This country will be Europe 1 and will compete in Pool A. The team will join Ireland, Japan, Scotland and the Play-Off Winner and is to have the honor of playing in the tournament opener against the Japanese.
Romania are favorites for the Europe 1 spot. This is a combination of historic results at the RWC in addition to performances from the recent past. The runner-up of the Rugby Europe Championship will be Europe 2. That country will face Samoa in a RWC qualifying play-off. The winner will qualify for Pool A while the loser will enter repechage.
Russia were expected to provide a serious challenge for Europe 1 or Europe 2. The possibility of Russia qualifying for Japan 2019 has now been seriously dented. Russia entered the match placed third in the standings. Their loss in Krasnodar is a tremendous gain for Spain who are now well placed to be Europe 2.
Canada and Repecharge
Awaiting the results of the rugby Europe Championship with interest is Canada. Uruguay’s wins over Canada saw Los Teros qualifying for RWC 2019 as Americas 2. It sent Canada into repechage. The North Americans are now awaiting confirmation of the three other countries.
The four repechage teams will compete in November on neutral territory. The successful team will qualify for RWC 2019, entering Pool B. That pool contains Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Africa 1. The Africa 1 spot will be confirmed mid-year.
The Africa runner-up will be Africa 2 and will enter repechage, joining Canada, the Europe/Oceania play-off loser and the winner of the Asia/Oceania play-off.