2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying

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2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying
Tournament details
Dates2015 – 2018
No. of nations93
Uruguay v Canada in the Americas play-off.

The qualification process for the 2019 Rugby World Cup began during the pool stages of the 2015 tournament in England, during which the top three teams from each of the four pools were awarded automatic qualification for the 2019 event. A further eight teams qualified through regional, cross-regional tournaments and the repechage process.[1]

The qualifying matches began on 5 March 2016, when Jamaica defeated Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 48–0. Symbolically, the referee for the match was Nigel Owens, who had refereed the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final five months earlier.[2]

Qualification process[edit]

     Qualified       Failed to qualify
     Did not enter qualification or is not a full member of World Rugby

Following the confirmed twelve automatic qualified teams, World Rugby announced the qualification format for the eight remaining places on 12 November 2015. Of the eight berths remaining, six were decided by regional tournaments, with Africa and Europe gaining a single berth through the Africa Cup tournament and Rugby Europe Championship (Africa 1 and Europe 1).

Oceania were granted two berths due to their bad results in 2015, with all three of the major Pacific Island nations playing each other home and away across 2016 and 2017 (Oceania 1 and 2). Following the individual regional tournaments in Americas North and Sudamérica in the earlier stages of qualification, both regions merged so that Americas 1 and Americas 2 could be decided on a full Americas scale.

One of the remaining berths was decided through cross-regional play-offs, with a European and an Oceania team playing home and away play-offs, to earn qualification (Play-off winner).

The final berth was decided through a Repechage tournament, with the tournament being mainly made up of teams that finished in their region as runner-up (Africa 2, Americas 3, play-off loser and Asia/Oceania play-off winner).

All non-automatic qualifiers were decided by November 2018.

Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
Automatic Qualifiers
Regional Qualifiers
play-off [a]
Repechage play-off [b]

Cross-Regional Repechage play off)

Cross-Regional Play-off)

Qualified team
  1. ^ Europe/Oceania play-off: A home and away play-off will be played between Oceania 3 and Europe 2. Oceania 3 is Samoa, the third placed team from the 2017 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. Europe 2 is Germany, the winner of a play-off between Germany (the second-ranked team on a 2-year aggregate table for the 2017 and 2018 seasons of the Rugby Europe Championship, excluding the already qualified Georgia), and Portugal (the winner of the 2017–18 Rugby Europe Trophy). The winner on aggregate qualifies for the RWC 2019, the loser progresses to the repechage tournament.
  2. ^ Asia/Oceania repechage play-off: A home and away play-off will be played between Oceania 4 and Asia 1. Oceania 4 is Cook Islands, the winner of the 2017 Oceania Rugby Cup. Asia 1 is Hong Kong, the winner of the 2018 Asia Rugby Championship. The winner on aggregate gains a berth in the repechage tournament.


A total of 79 teams from around the world were involved in some stage of qualifying.

Region(s) Teams entered
Africa 14 1  Namibia 1  Kenya
Americas 20 3  United States
1  Canada
Asia 10* 0  Hong Kong 0
Europe 30† 1  Russia  Germany§ 0
Oceania 5 2  Fiji
 Cook Islands
Cross-regional play-offs 1  Samoa 2  Hong Kong
TOTALS 79 7 4 0 (0 WC Place)

* Thailand replaced Kazakhstan following their withdrawal before playing any games.
† Minus one additional team, Turkey, who withdrew prior to playing any games.
‡ Replacing Romania, who had points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.
§ Replacing Spain, who had points deducted for fielding ineligible players.
‖ The Cook Islands advanced to the next stage of qualifying after Tahiti were found to have breached player eligibility regulations in their Oceania Cup clash.[3]

Six of the final eight places were assigned to different regions by World Rugby. Depending on the team's status, there were various play-off and repechage processes. Status of 2019 RWC qualification after Africa Cup

Repechage qualification[edit]

Following the end of each regional qualification process, four teams took part in the repechage process for the final spot at the World Cup. Unlike previous Repechages, the four teams played in a Round-robin tournament, where all teams will played each other once. The repechage tournament was hosted at the neutral venue of the Stade Delort in Marseille, France in November 2018.

Final standings (continental qualifying path and world ranking of each team before the tournament is shown in brackets):

Place Nation Games Points Bonus
played won drawn lost for against diff
1  Canada (Americas) (21) 3 3 0 0 121 39 +82 2 14
2  Germany (Europe) (26) 3 2 0 1 79 44 +35 1 9
3  Hong Kong (Asia) (24) 3 1 0 2 61 70 −9 1 5
4  Kenya (Africa) (29) 3 0 0 3 42 150 −108 0 0
Points were awarded to the teams as follows:
4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, no points for a loss
1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries
1 bonus point for a loss by 7 points or under
The top-placed team qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the Repechage winner


  1. ^ rugbybworldcup.com. "Regional qualification process set for Rugby World Cup 2019".
  2. ^ worldrugby.org. "Jamaica kick off RWC 2019 qualification in style". worldrugby.org. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  3. ^ "Tahiti booted from RWC qualifiers". 23 March 2018.

External links[edit]