Here’s how you can watch Samoa v Germany and Cook Islands v Hong Kong in their Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers
Watch Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers live
This weekend there are several Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers taking place around the world – and you can watch them live.
In Apia on Saturday, Samoa take on Germany in the first leg of their play-off to secure a place in Pool A alongside Ireland, Japan, Russia and Scotland at next year’s World Cup.
The two teams will then meet again in Germany on Saturday 14 July, with the winner on aggregate over the two legs progressing to Japan 2019.
The match kicks off at 3pm local time (3am in the UK and Ireland) and World Rugby are streaming it live via rugbyworldcup.com
Thunderstorms are currently forecast for Apia, which could hamper Samoa’s desire to play in a fast style. The eligibility saga in Europe, which caused these qualifiers to be rescheduled and means some players are unavailable because they had planned weddings and other events around the original dates, has not helped their preparations for this fixture either.
However, they have been together as a squad for nearly a month and have the benefit of playing two games in the recent Pacific Nations Cup, where they lost to Fiji and Tonga.
The Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who also serves as chairman of the Samoan Rugby Union, has also been highly critical of the squad in the build-up to the game, telling them they have “no guts” after suffering nine straight defeats.
Looking at the Germany game, coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua said: “Our country wants a win. That’s what we want to give our people. We want to win.”
Samoa go into the match as favourites, sitting 12 places above Germany at 17th in the world rankings. Still, Germany coach Pablo Lemoine, who guided Uruguay to RWC 2015, knows this weekend’s game is only half the battle.
“Everyone has put a lot of pressure on those guys (Samoa) because the World Cup is really important for the country,” he said. “We know Samoa is one of the best Tier Two countries, and we know the potential they’ve got. But we have to learn about that level and try to play our best. We know it’s a 160-minute game, it’s not 80.”
The Cook Islands and Hong Kong are also in action on Saturday, playing the first leg of their qualifier in Rarotonga before the return leg in Hong Kong on Saturday 7 July.
The winner on aggregate will earn a place in the four-team repechage tournament in November, with the victor of that earning a place in Pool B.
The Cook Islands v Hong Kong game kicks off at 3pm local time, which is 2am in the UK and Ireland. Again you can watch the live stream at rugbyworldcup.com
The Africa Gold Cup, which doubles as a RWC 2019 qualifying tournament, is also in full swing, with the winner going through to Pool B as Africa 1, where they will join New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the Repechage winner.
Namibia are leading the way with big wins in their first two games – 55-6 over Uganda and 118-0 against Tunisia – and they take on Morocco at 3pm local time (4pm UK and Ireland). Kenya also host Zimbabwe, kicking off at 4pm in Nairobi (2pm UK and Ireland).
These matches will be streamed live on rugbyafrique.com
The Africa Gold Cup runs until mid-August, so it will be a few weeks until we know who will progress to Japan, while the runners-up go into the repechage tournament along with Canada, the losers of the Samoa v Germany play-off and the winners of the Cook Islands v Hong Kong play-off.
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