Hong Kong, Kenya, Portugal and USA will compete for the final spot at France 2023


Rugby World Cup 2023 Final Qualifying Explained

There is only one place left at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, but which country will secure it?

There are four teams in the running – Hong Kong, Kenya, Portugal and USA – and they will play in the Final Qualification Tournament (FQT) in Dubai in November to determine who books the 20th spot in France next year.

Portugal made it through to the FQT after finishing third in the Rugby Europe Championship while Hong Kong, Kenya and USA recently lost their regional qualifiers to Tonga, Namibia and Chile respectively.

They have one last chance to make it to RWC 2023, via the round-robin tournament in Dubai. The fixtures are yet to be announced but all the teams will play each other once, with matches on 6, 12 and 18 November.

The country that accrues the most competition points across the three matches will complete Pool C alongside Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Wales.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “There is only one remaining ticket for Rugby World Cup 2023, and it will all come down to a fantastic Final Qualification Tournament hosted in Dubai this November.

“The four participating teams have proven their worth during a challenging qualifying process that started in March 2021 and they will give their absolute best to join the France 2023 adventure. Rugby fans worldwide can expect an outstanding and hard-fought tournament.”

USA will likely go into the tournament as favourites, but the world rankings illustrate just how tight matches could be. The Eagles are in 19th place, with Portugal 20th and Hong Kong 22nd, while Kenya are 33rd.

It should be a highly competitive event, although it is a shame that it overlaps with this year’s World Cup. The final of the women’s tournament at Eden Park in New Zealand falls on the same day as the second round of matches in Dubai.

Rugby World Cup 2023 Final Qualifying Schedule

Sunday 6 November 2022 – Match day one

Saturday 12 November 2022 – Match day two

Friday 18 November 2022 – Match day three

All matches will be played at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

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