France to host repechage tournament for Rugby World Cup 2019

Sport360 staff 18:50 17/07/2018
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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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