Get the lowdown on the race for spots at France 2023

Rugby World Cup 2023 European Qualifying

The men’s Rugby Europe Championship (REC) serves as a qualifying pathway for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Results from the 2021 and 2022 REC determine the European qualifiers, with the team that tops the table booking the Europe One slot to join Pool C with Australia, Wales, Fiji and the Final Qualifier winner.

The runners-up across the two campaigns will qualify as Europe Two and go into Pool B with Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Asia/Pacific One while the team that finishes third will have one last chance of reaching France 2023 at the Final Qualifier tournament later this year.

So who is leading the way and who else is in the running?

Rugby World Cup 2023 European Qualifying Table

Georgia topped the table in 2021 with five wins from five and are favourites to qualify as Europe One. They were held to a draw by Portugal in the opening round of this year’s REC but bounced back to thump the Netherlands 72-10.

The race for the other two spots looks set to be fought between Romania, Spain and Portugal. The Netherlands are yet to win an REC match while Russia have won only two of seven so far in 2021 and 2022.

Romania currently sit second, with five wins from seven, but Spain are only a point behind with Portugal a further five points back.

This is how the table looks after two rounds of the 2022 championship.

2022 Rugby Europe Championship Fixtures 

This year’s competition has already produced some cracking matches like that aforementioned draw and Spain’s dramatic late win over Russia.

The Spain v Romania fixture at the end of February looks set to be crucial in determining who will be Europe Two, while Spain v Portugal in mid-March is also set to have a lot riding on it.

Here are the results so far and the fixtures to come, which we will update as and when matches take place.

Sat 5 Feb, Romania 34-25  Russia

Sat 5 Feb, Spain 43-0 Netherlands

Sun 6 Feb, Georgia 25-25 Portugal

Sat 12 Feb, Russia 37-41 Spain

Sat 12 Feb, Netherlands 10-72 Georgia

Sat 12 Feb, Romania 37-27 Portugal

Sat 26 Feb, Portugal v Netherlands

Sun 27 Feb, Spain v Romania

Sun 27 Feb, Georgia v Russia

Sat 12 Mar, Russia v Netherlands

Sat 12 Mar, Romania v Georgia

Sun 13 Mar, Spain v Portugal

Sat 19 Mar, Netherlands v Romania

Sat 19 Mar, Portugal v Russia

Sun 20 Mar, Georgia v Spain

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.