2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying
The qualification process for the 2015 Rugby World Cup began following the 2011 tournament in New Zealand. A total of 20 teams will qualify for the tournament, which will be held in England between 18 September and 31 October 2015.
Qualification is currently ongoing and actually started in the pool stage of RWC 2011. 12 teams received an automatic qualification berth by finishing in the top 3 positions of their respective pools. So Samoa for example whilst they failed to proceed to the knock out stage in the 2011 competition did at least leave New Zealand knowing that they had already secured their place in the 2015 tournament.
A further 8 berths for the tournament were then available to be awarded through regional tournaments. The final team to contest the tournament will be determined through a repechage process.
The non-automatic qualification process began on 24 March 2012, by the end of which 80 teams will have competed over 184 matches to win one of the eight remaining places at the 2015 tournament.
The pool draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup took place on 3 December 2012. As with the 2011 tournament, the top 12 teams were grouped into 3 bands for the pool draw as per their IRB Rankings on that date, while the other 8 qualifying teams will be split into a fourth and fifth band. One team from each band was drawn into each pool.
Canada became the first of the "non-automatic" qualifiers.
There will be 20 nations participating in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. 12 teams have automatically qualified by virtue of their performance at the prior Rugby World Cup, leaving eight teams to qualify through regional matches or repechages. Seven of these eight places are designated to different regions by the IRB as follows - the last will be decided by a repechage series. Regional Qualification began on March 24, 2012 when Mexico hosted and defeated Jamaica in Mexico City. The match was refereed by Craig Joubert, who refereed the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final.
In all, 96 national teams have been involved in the 2015 World Cup - 12 as automatic qualifiers and 84 as entrants in the qualification rounds. Currently, of these 84 entrants, one has qualified and 23 are still able to qualify for the remaining seven places.
|Region||Automatic qualifiers||Teams in qualifying process||Teams that can still qualify||Qualifying places||Qualified teams||World Cup pools||Repechage places|
|Africa (CAR)||1||13*||4||1||Africa 1||C||1|
|Americas (NACRA/CONSUR)||1||18||2||2|| Canada
|Asia (ARFU)||0||17||5||1||Asia 1||B||1|
|Europe (FIRA-AER)||6||31||5||2|| Georgia
|Oceania (FORU)||4||5||2||1||Oceania 1||A||None|
|TOTAL||12||84||22||7||4 (1 WC Place)|
*One additional team, Cameroon, withdrew prior to playing any games.
Summary of remaining places
- Africa 1 (TBD 5 July 2014)
- Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe remain in the qualification process for Africa. They will compete in the 2014 Africa Cup, with the winner qualifying as Africa 1. The runner-up moves to the repechage.
- Americas 2 (TBD 29 March 2014)
- The United States and Uruguay will play in a 2-legged playoff, with the winner qualifying as Americas 2 and the losing nation moving to the repechage.
- Asia 1 (25 May 2014)
- Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka will contest the 2014 Asian Five Nations, with the winner of the tournament qualifying as Asia 1. The runner-up moves to the repechage.
- Europe 1 and 2 (Both TBD 15 March 2014)
- Georgia and Romania are guaranteed to qualify. The match between these two teams on 15 March 2014 will determine which team qualifies as Europe 1 and which team qualifies as Europe 2. Russia, the third placed team, will play off against the winner between the Netherlands and the winner of Division 1B (either Germany, Moldova or Poland). The winner of this match will qualify for the repechage playoffs.
- Oceania 1 (28 June 2014)
- Cook Islands and Fiji will play off for the sole qualification spot, Oceania 1.
For more information on the Repechage qualification go to: 2015 Rugby World Cup – Repechage qualification
Following the end of the regional qualification process, 4 teams (1 from each region, except Oceania) will take part in the Repechage process for the final spot at the Rugby World Cup. For the semi-finals, a single match will be played at the ground of the higher ranked team as per the IRB Ranking. The final will be played on a two-match home and away basis, and the team with the higher aggregate score will be the 20th and final team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
|Winner Europe Qual. Rd 6|
|Runner Up CAR Div. 1A|
|Winner Europe v Africa|
|Winner Americas v Asia||
|Loser Americas Play Off|
|Runner Up Asia 5 Nations|
8 March 2014 Romania — Belgium
8 March 2014 Spain — Georgia
15 March 2014 Belgium — Russia
15 March 2014 Portugal — Spain
15 March 2014 Georgia — Romania
22 March 2014 Uruguay — USA
29 March 2014 USA — Uruguay
5 April 2014 Germany — Czech Republic
5 April 2014 Poland — Moldova
12 April 2014 Moldova — Ukraine
26 April 2014 Czech Republic — Moldova
26 April 2014 Sweden — Germany
26 April 2014 Ukraine — Poland
26 April 2014 Hong Kong — Philippines
26 April 2014 South Korea — Sri Lanka
3 May 2014 Philippines — Japan
3 May 2014 Sri Lanka — Hong Kong
10 May 2014 Japan — Sri Lanka
10 May 2014 Hong Kong — South Korea
10 May 2014 Netherlands — Winner of Europe 1B
17 May 2014 South Korea — Japan
17 May 2014 Sri Lanka — Philippines
24 May 2014 Philippines — South Korea
25 May 2014 Japan — Hong Kong
26 June 2014 Namibia — Kenya
26 June 2014 Madagascar — Zimbabwe
28 June 2014 Cook Islands — Fiji
6 July 2014 Winner of Namibia vs Kenya — Winner of Madagascar vs Zimbabwe
TBD Winner of Netherland vs Winner of Europe 1B — Russia
TBD Winner of European qualification round 6 — 2nd placed team in 2014 Africa cup
TBD Loser of USA vs Uruguay playoff — 2nd placed team in 2014 Asian 5 Nations
TBD Repechage final
- "RWC 2015 Destination England". IRB.
- http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/mm/document/tournament/mediazone/02/06/17/88/manila-press-pack.pdf Qualifier Press Pack (Info Cited is on p7.)
- "Rankings take on added focus in 2012". IRB. 3 February 2012.
- "2015 Draw adds extra spice to season". IRB.
- . IRB.com