All you need to know about how the final Japan 2019 place will be decided
Rugby World Cup 2019 repêchage lowdown
Over the next three weekends, four countries will fight it out for the final spot at next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya will all play each other in the repêchage qualifying tournament in Marseille in a bid to book their place at Japan 2019.
Canada lock Brett Beukeboom recognises the size of the challenge that awaits in the South of France, saying: “This is our last shot of getting into the 2019 World Cup. It’s a big test for us and is going to be really tough. We have to play our best rugby and turn around recent results.
“Those are three good teams and they have improved fantastically in recent times, so we need to approach each game as do or die. That adds a bit more stress as a player. With that being said, the onus is on the players to prepare right for each team and approach November with the right attitude.”
Here is all the information you need about this month’s repêchage tournament…
The repêchage tournament has a round-robin format, with all teams playing each other. It’s four points for a win, two for a draw, zero for a loss. Bonus points will be given to teams scoring four tries and losing sides finishing within seven points.
If two teams finish level on points, the result of the match between those sides will separate them. If that was a draw, the team with the better points difference across all games will be ranked higher.
Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya all have a chance of securing the 20th – and final – spot at next year’s World Cup, in Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia.
The Canucks have suffered a severe drop in form at 15-a-side level in recent years, winning just eight of 30 Tests since RWC 2015. They may be World Cup regulars, but none of the other teams have taken part in the global showpiece before.
Hong Kong are the highest-ranked team, sitting two places above Canada at 21st in the world. The Asia Rugby Championship winners defeated Cook Islands 77-3 on aggregate over two legs to secure their place in the repêchage and are coached by Welshman Leigh Jones. They are well organised and defensively strong – Jones’s credentials include taking charge of Japan’s defence during RWC 2015.
Germany, who moved into the repêchage after losing to Samoa in a play-off and are ranked 29th, have bolstered their challenge by bringing in ex-England defence coach Mike Ford as head coach.
The Kenyans, 28th in the world, complete the foursome. They finished second behind Namibia in the Africa Gold Cup and have lots of attacking threats, having pulled in players from their sevens ranks.
All matches will be at Marseille’s 5,000-capacity Stade Delort.
World Rugby will live stream all the games online at world.rugby in the UK and they will be televised in some countries. Find out all the details here…
The fixtures (kick-off times UK & Ireland)
Sunday 11 November
Canada 65-19 Kenya
Hong Kong 9-26 Germany
Saturday 17 November
Hong Kong v Kenya (noon)
Canada v Germany (3pm)
Friday 23 November
Kenya v Germany (5pm)
Hong Kong v Canada (8pm)
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Rugby World.
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