France to host repechage tournament for Rugby World Cup 2019

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Germany in action against Spain

World Rugby have announced the Stade Delort in Marseille will host the repechage tournament for the Rugby World Cup 2019 later this year.

Four teams will compete in the round-robin format event to be played across three match days on Sunday November 11, Saturday November 17 and Friday November 23.

The repechage tournament is a new concept for Rugby World Cup qualification and represents the last opportunity for a team to qualify for Japan 2019 with four nations fighting it out to secure the twentieth and final place at the Rugby World Cup.

Hong Kong recently confirmed their place in the repechage with a convincing 77-3 aggregate victory over the Cook Islands.

They join Canada who were confirmed in the repechage in February following their defeat to Uruguay in the Americas play-off over two legs.

The third team is Germany, recently defeated by Samoa in the Oceania-Europe play-off 66-15 in Apia and 42-28 in Heidelberg (108-43 on aggregate). Samoa now take up their place directly in the tricky Pool A alongside hosts Japan, Ireland, Russia and Scotland.

The line-up will be completed on August 18 when the Rugby Africa Gold Cup comes to a conclusion with the champions qualifying directly for Japan 2019, and the runners-up entering the repechage.

At this stage it looks like Namibia will earn direct qualification to the World Cup with the Simbas from Kenya going through to the repechage.

The winner of the repechage will enter in to group B at the Rugby World Cup alongside reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Africa 1.

The Stade Delort in Marseille is a 5,000 capacity venue which has previously hosted rugby and major sports events in France’s second largest city in the Provence region.

The announcement follows hot on the heels of the French Rugby Federation’s successful hosting of the record-breaking Under 20 Championships across three venues in southern France last month and comes ahead of France’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2023.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The repechage tournament is going to be a very hotly contested event with the ultimate prize of a place at the Rugby World Cup at stake. Marseille can look forward to three matchdays of thrilling rugby between nations from four different continents.

“Following the outstanding success of the recent World Rugby U20 Championship in southern France, we are delighted to partner with the French Rugby Federation again to deliver this important tournament as France continues to advance its preparations for hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.”

French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte said: “I am delighted that France will be hosting the repechage tournament for the Rugby World Cup 2019. It’s a very important event as four teams will compete in Marseille to get the last seat for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“By hosting this tournament, FFR reinforces its commitment to help develop rugby worldwide. It’s also a pretty glimpse to the Rugby World Cup #France2023. I wish to thank the SMUC Rugby which partners with FFR to ensure the success of such an event.”

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Samoa defeat Germany to qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup

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Samoa have qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Samoa have qualified for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan after winning the second leg of the Oceania/Europe play-off against Germany 42-28 in Heidelberg on Saturday.

The hard-fought victory, combined with the 66-15 first leg win in Apia, confirmed a 108-43 aggregate win and a place in Pool A alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.

Germany were competitive at home, leading by one point at halftime and by two until the 69th minute when Samoa fullback Ahsee Tuala crossed and converted to tie things up at 28-28.

Six minutes later, right wing Ed Fidow walked in his second try of the match, before former Tuala – the former Counties Manukau representative – sprinted in for his double in the 80th minute, converting that and Samoa’s five others for a personal haul of 22 points.

The Samoans have played at the last seven editions of the event, and their best result was the quarterfinals, at their first two, in 1991 and 1995.

Germany, 12 places behind their opponents in the World Rugby Rankings, will take great heart from a spirited performance that will give confidence ahead of their participation in the Repechage in Marseille in November.

In what promises to be a fascinating tournament, Germany will meet Canada, Hong Kong and the Rugby Africa Gold Cup runner-up in a round-robin format contested over three match days on November 11, 17 and 23.

Congratulating Samoa on his twitter account, World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to Samoa on Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification and a place in Pool A. Germany will be encouraged by a strong performance as they look ahead to November’s Repechage.”

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Hong Kong confirm place in repechage for Rugby World Cup 2019

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Hong Kong have defeated the Cook Islands

Asian champions Hong Kong beat Cook Islands 77-3 on aggregate to become the second team confirmed for the Rugby World Cup 2019 global repechage tournament in November.

Hong Kong ran out comfortable 51-0 winners in their Asia/Oceania play-off second leg at the Hong Kong Football Club on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2019.

The Asia Rugby Championship 2018 winners will now take their place alongside Canada, the loser of the Samoa v Germany play-off – the Pacific Islanders won the first leg 66-15 last weekend – and the Rugby Africa Gold Cup runners-up in the four-team global repechage in November that will determine the 20th and final qualifier for Japan 2019.

While Hong Kong only needed to avoid a loss of more than 23 points to advance, having won the first leg 26-3 in Rarotonga last weekend, coach Leigh Jones had predicted that more was to come from his charges, and they duly delivered with a six-try shutout of the Cook Islands at home.

After the game Jones said: “Our defence was superb. I can’t single anyone out, but as a whole, to keep two clean sheets, especially away in the Cook Islands, was really difficult to do.”

Looking ahead to the repechage and Hong Kong’s bid to reach a first-ever Rugby World Cup, Jones believes that his side has sent a message to the opposition this November.

“I think we sent a real strong message now. If you look at the Cook Islands, with so many players playing in top rugby competitions around the world, it is going to take a good side to beat us now.”

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