Peter Redmans' World Cup round up - an update

Peter Redmans' World Cup round up - an update

Another update
I promised you regular stuff, but in truth, not much is going on. Here’s a summary of what is coming up though, region by region:
Africa:
Nothing. Zip. Nada. The African qualifying is based around the 2018 Africa Cup which includes Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and everyone’s favourites, Namibia. This is due to be held in June/July/August next year.
NB: It’s not entirely true that nothing happened – in fact the entire 2017 Gold Cup happened (won by Namibia) and Senegal were “relegated” and replaced by Morocco, meaning the former can no longer qualify.
Americas:
Since the US qualified in July, as discussed HERE, we’ve just sat around and waited. In early 2018 (January 27 and February 3, to be precise), Canada and Uruguay fight off to be America 2. The loser goes to the Repechage.
Asia:
Similar to Africa, little has happened and little is scheduled to happen any time soon. The 2018 Asia Rugby Championship is due to take place around March/April next year between Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea. There are no automatic qualification places at stake, but a place in a play-off to earn a place in the Repechage!
Europe:
The European qualifying runs over a 2-year period and encompasses the Rugby Europe Championship for 2017 and 2018. The 5 teams involved are Romania, Spain, Russia, Germany and Belgium – and that is the order they sit in the table at the half-way stage. The top team advances as Europe 1.

It gets more complicated though. As Belgium finished bottom of the 2017 part, they had to beat Portugal to remain at the top level. They did. Had they lost, they’d have been eliminated from WC contention. However, Portugal losing doesn’t eliminate them. Not the Czech Republic. These two sides won lower tier competitions and now meet on November 18. The winner plays the runner-up of the Rugby Europe Championship for a play-off place.
Oceania:
This region is basically done. Fiji and Tonga qualified, whilst Samoa advance to the Europe/Oceania play-off, where they’ll play the winners of the European play-off
Meanwhile Tahiti (ranked 93 when qualification began) defeated the odds and the Cook Islands (ranked 44) to give themselves another shot. A 13-9 victory in the Cook Islands National Stadium (inventive name) means Tahiti will now play the Asian Championship winners over 2 legs for a chance to enter the Repechage.
There are the following to play for:
• Africa 1 (Pool B with NZ, SA and Italy)
• Americas 2 (Pool D with Australia, Wales, Georgia and Fiji)
• Europe 1 (Pool A with Ireland, Scotland and Japan)
• Play-Off winner (Pool A with Ireland, Scotland and Japan)
• Repechage winner (Pool B with NZ, SA and Italy)
To make your lives easier, here are the teams still in with a chance and what they need to do:
1. Kenya (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
2. Morocco (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
3. Tunisia (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
4. Uganda (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
5. Zimbabwe (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
6. Namibia (2018 Africa Gold Cup, Africa 1 qualifies, Africa 2 enters Repechage direct)
7. Canada (Play-off with Uruguay, winner qualifies as America 2, loser enters Repechage)
8. Uruguay (Play-off with Canada, winner qualifies as America 2, loser enters Repechage)
9. Hong Kong (2018 Asia RC, winner advances to play-off with Tahiti for Repechage place)
10. Malaysia (2018 Asia RC, winner advances to play-off with Tahiti for Repechage place)
11. South Korea (2018 Asia RC, winner advances to play-off with Tahiti for Repechage place)
12. Romania (Rugby Europe Champs, winner advances as Europe 1, runner-up plays winner of Portugal/CzechRep, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
13. Spain (Rugby Europe Champs, winner advances as Europe 1, runner-up plays winner of Portugal/CzechRep, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
14. Russia (Rugby Europe Champs, winner advances as Europe 1, runner-up plays winner of Portugal/CzechRep, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
15. Germany (Rugby Europe Champs, winner advances as Europe 1, runner-up plays winner of Portugal/CzechRep, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
16. Belgium (Rugby Europe Champs, winner advances as Europe 1, runner-up plays winner of Portugal/CzechRep, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
17. Portugal (Play-off with CzechRep, winner plays Rugby Europe Champs runner-up, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
18. Czech Republic (Play-off with Portugal, winner plays Rugby Europe Champs runner-up, winner plays Samoa for Repechage place)
19. Samoa (Play-off with Europe 2, winner qualifies as Play-Off Winner, loser enters Repechage)
20. Tahiti (Play-off with 2018 Asia RC winner, winner enters Repechage, loser goes home)
Twenty teams remain in contention for 5 places. We’ll lose either Portugal or Czech Republic in November, but it won’t make the picture any clearer!