Russia qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup after European rivals lose points

By Reuters,

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    Russia have qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup after Romania – who had initially taken the slot – Spain and Belgium were docked points for repeatedly using ineligible players during the qualifying competition, World Rugby have announced.

    In the latest twist to a complicated and controversial series of matches and following an investigation by the independent Judicial and Disputes committee, World Rugby docked the three nations five match points for each ineligible player used.

    That equated to 30 points for Romania and Belgium – who did it in six qualifying matches, and 40 for Spain, who broke the rules on eight occasions.

    It sees Russia replace Romania in second place, resulting in their elevation into Japan 2019 behind Georgia who had already made it through on the strength of their performance at the last World Cup.

    Spain had hoped for a reprieve following a World Rugby investigation into the circumstances of their loss to Belgium, but the independent panel has chosen to dock all three teams points, subject to appeal.

    The judgment means Russia join Ireland, Scotland and Japan in Pool A while Germany and Portugal will clash for the right to face Samoa in a final eliminator for World Cup qualification.

    “Having considered all the evidence, including submissions from World Rugby, Rugby Europe, Spain and Belgium, the independent committee refused the request made by World Rugby and Spain to set aside the result of the match and determined that the match should not be replayed,” the committee said in a statement.

    While the independent disputes committee has determined that mistakes were not made in bad faith by Rugby Europe and some participating unions, World Rugby is extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events.”

    © Reuters 2018

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • May 16th 2018 @ 9:31am
      Gav said | May 16th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Underage teams such as u/20’s should never have been allowed to be capture teams

    • Roar Rookie

      May 16th 2018 @ 10:36am
      Paul D said | May 16th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      Probably the fairest outcome given the total debacle that occured

    • May 16th 2018 @ 12:32pm
      Cantab said | May 16th 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      Good outcome, as it makes the Spain – Belgium game meaningless.

      • May 16th 2018 @ 5:39pm
        AndyS said | May 16th 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

        Sounds like the neat and easy out, doesn’t it?

    • May 16th 2018 @ 5:19pm
      JB said | May 16th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      What a shameful decision. Three teams are penalised by the incompetence of Rugby Europe, the body that runs that competition. This is a complete joke. Get rid of those clowns who would not be able to run a chook raffle at a Saturday school fair…

      • May 16th 2018 @ 10:25pm
        Steve Wright said | May 16th 2018 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

        Don’t talk about the ARU like that mate………..they’re all we’ve got……..

    • Roar Pro

      May 16th 2018 @ 5:30pm
      Danny said | May 16th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

      What a ridiculous fiasco. Stand-by for Russian doping allegations in 3, 2, 1…

    • May 16th 2018 @ 5:46pm
      BrainsTrust said | May 16th 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

      Well Spain and Belgium the obvious source of players would be France.
      The question I would have is how many other French players do they have in their teams,
      that haven;t been called up for France.
      The puzzle for me was Romania and guess what they fielded a Tongan player and look at their team and there are other Pacific islanders.

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