Rugby World Cup qualification

Rugby World Cup qualification is a process that determines which nations will compete at the Rugby World Cup.

Unlike previous tournaments (where eight teams, the quarter-finalists from the preceding World Cup, qualified automatically and twelve places were available through qualification) the 2011 World Cup will be contested by twelve automatic qualifiers / seeds (the teams who finished in the top three of the groups at the 2007 World Cup) and eight qualifiers.[1][2]

The qualification system for the remaining eight places will be region-based with Europe and the Americas allocated two qualifying places, Africa, Asia and Oceania one place each, with the last place determined by a play-off.[3]

Rugby World Cup teams.PNG

HistoryEdit

The first Rugby World Cup, the tournament of 1987 held no qualifying tournament. Instead, all the then members of the International Rugby Board (then, IFRB) were automatically included in the competition. These members accounted for seven of the 16 available positions. The remaining positions were filled by invitation.

The next tournament, the 1991 Rugby World Cup implemented a qualifying process. Eight of the 16 available positions were filled by nations automatically, however, the remaining positions would be determined by a 25 nation qualifying tournament. The following tournament, the 1995 Rugby World Cup, increased the qualifying tournament to 43 nations. In addition to the eight previous quarterfinalists, hosts South Africa were granted automatic entry.

The approach changed again for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, as only the hosts and the defending champions, the runners-up, the third place play-off winners from the 1995 cup were to gain automatic entry, as opposed to the elite eight nations. The 1999 world cup also saw the introduction of a repechage, a second chance for teams that had finished runners-up in each qualifying zone. Again, the number of nations participating in the qualifying events increased, from 43 to 63.

81 teams entered qualifying for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The eight quarter-finalists from the previous world cup gained automatic qualification with another twelve spots open to qualifiers. Teams from five continents, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe and the Americas gained entry to the competition. Qualification came through a mixture of round robin tournaments, knockout and repechage.

A similar mixture of round robin tournaments, knockout and repechage was used for the qualification for the 2007 Rugby World Cup involving 86 teams, which together with the 8 teams which have qualified automatically brought to 94 the total number of teams participating in the 2007 tournament.

In addition to the eight quarterfinalists at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the four teams finishing in third place in their respective pools qualified automatically for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Various existing regional tournaments were incorporated into the qualification process for the remaining eight spots. Including teams that failed to qualify for official qualifying tournaments, 88 teams participated in the qualification process, bringing the total number of teams participating in the 2011 tournament to 100.

Qualification competition entrants over timeEdit

Number of teams entering qualification (including automatic qualifiers)
Continental zone 1987
   
1991
     
1995
 
1999
 
2003
 
2007
 
2011
 
2015
 
2019
 
Total spots in the World Cup 16 16 16 20 20 20 20 20 20
Africa 1 4 12 11 13 15 15 14
Americas 3 3 7 12 18 19 19 19
Asia 1 7 8 8 11 13 11 17
Oceania 4 5 8 11 11 9 9
Europe 7 19 24 32 36 36 37 37
Total entrants 161
33 56 71 89 94 91 96
  • 1 There was no qualifying process to the 1987 World Cup. The at the time eight IRFB members (minus South Africa boycotted because of apartheid) were joined by nine invited nations.

Qualification spots by continentEdit

Spots allocated by continent (not including automatic qualifiers)
Continental zone 1987
   
1991
     
1995
 
1999
 
2003
 
2007
 
2011
 
2015
 
2019
 
2023
 
Total spots in the World Cup 16 16 16 20 20 20 20 20 20
Africa 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Americas 0 3 1 3+R3 2+R 3 2 2+R 2+R
Asia 0 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0
Oceania 0 1 3+R 2+R 2+R 1 1 2+P4
Europe 0 2 3 6 4 3+R 2+R 2 1
Total excluding automatic qualifiers 02
8 7 16 12 12 8 8 8
  • 2 There was no qualifying process to the 1987 World Cup; all teams were invited, and, therefore, automatically qualified.
  • 3 A+R indicates that one of the teams of this continent qualified to the World Cup through the repechage.
  • 4 A+P indicates that one of the teams of this continent qualified to the World Cup through the 2019 Rugby World Cup – play-off qualifications.

First appearance in qualification by teamEdit

World Cup Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania Total
1991
 
 
 
  Ivory Coast
  Morocco
  Tunisia
  Zimbabwe
  Argentina
  Canada
  United States
  Japan
  South Korea
  Belgium
  Czechoslovakia
  Denmark
  Israel
  Italy
  Netherlands
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Spain
  Sweden
   Switzerland
  West Germany
  Yugoslavia
  Samoa
  Tonga
25
1995
 
  Kenya
  Namibia
  Bermuda
  Chile
  Paraguay
  Uruguay
 Arabian Gulf4
  Hong Kong
  Malaysia
  Singapore
  Sri Lanka
  Taiwan
  Thailand
  Andorra
  Czech Republic5
  Georgia
  Germany6
  Hungary
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Russia
  Wales
  Fiji 24
1999
 
  Botswana
  Zambia
  Bahamas
  Barbados
  Brazil
  Guyana7
  Trinidad and Tobago
  Chinese Taipei8   Austria
  Bulgaria
  Croatia
  England
  Ireland
  Moldova
  Norway
  Scotland
  Ukraine
  Yugoslavia9
  Australia
  Cook Islands
  Papua New Guinea
  Tahiti
22
2003
 
  Cameroon
  Madagascar
  Eswatini
  Uganda
  Cayman Islands
  Colombia
  Jamaica
  Peru
  Saint Lucia
  Venezuela
  Kazakhstan   Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Malta
  Monaco
  Slovenia
  Niue
  Solomon Islands
  Vanuatu
18
2007
 
  Nigeria
  Senegal
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines   Guam   Finland
  Serbia10
none 6
2011
 
none   Mexico   India
  Pakistan
  Armenia
  Greece
none 5
2015
 
  Mauritius none   China
  Indonesia
  Iran
  Philippines
  United Arab Emirates11
  Cyprus12 none 7
2019
 
none   Ecuador
  Guatemala
  Uzbekistan   Estonia none 4
Total 15 22 20 44 10 111

Teams marked in italics had appeared in a previous world cup (by invitation in 1987 and automatically thereafter). France, New Zealand, and South Africa have never needed to take part in the qualifying tournaments, having been invited to their first tournament and always qualifying automatically thereafter.

  • 4 Took part in the African qualifying tournament.
  • 5 First appearance as Czech Republic; previous appearance as Czechoslovakia.
  • 6 First appearance as Germany; previous appearance as West Germany.
  • 7 Withdrew prior to the competition. Actually took part in the 2003 qualifying tournament.
  • 8 First appearance as Chinese Taipei; previous appearance as Taiwan.
  • 9 First appearance as Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; previous appearances as Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • 10 First appearance as Serbia; previous appearances as Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • 11 First appearance as United Arab Emirates. Previously competed as part of Arabian Gulf
  • 12 Although Cyprus were originally included in the qualifying process, they were later removed as they were not full member of the IRB.

Qualification by continentEdit

AfricaEdit

Tournament Automatically qualified Qualified via competition Eliminated in
repechage
1987   Zimbabwe
1991   Zimbabwe
1995   South Africa   Ivory Coast
1999   South Africa   Namibia   Morocco
2003   South Africa   Namibia   Tunisia
2007   South Africa   Namibia   Morocco
2011   South Africa   Namibia   Tunisia
2015   South Africa   Namibia   Zimbabwe
2019   South Africa   Namibia   Kenya

AmericasEdit

Tournament Automatically qualified Qualified via competition Eliminated in
repechage
1987   Canada
  Argentina
  United States
1991   Canada
  Argentina
  United States
1995   Canada   Argentina
1999   Argentina
  Canada
  United States
  Uruguay
2003   Argentina   Canada
  United States
  Uruguay
2007   Argentina
  Canada
  United States
  Uruguay
2011   Argentina   Canada
  United States
  Uruguay
2015   Argentina   Canada
  United States
  Uruguay
2019   Argentina   Canada
  United States
  Uruguay

AsiaEdit

Tournament Automatically qualified Qualified via competition Eliminated in
repechage
1987   Japan
1991   Japan
1995   Japan
1999   Japan   South Korea
2003   Japan   South Korea
2007   Japan   South Korea
2011   Japan   Kazakhstan
2015   Japan   Hong Kong
2019   Japan   Hong Kong

EuropeEdit

Tournament Automatically qualified Qualified via competition Eliminated in
repechage
1987   England
  France
  Ireland
  Scotland
  Wales
  Italy
  Romania
1991   England
  France
  Ireland
  Scotland
  Wales
  Italy
  Romania
1995   England
  France
  Ireland
  Scotland
  Wales
  Italy
  Romania
1999   France
  Wales
  Ireland
  England
  Scotland
  Romania
  Spain
  Italy
  Georgia
  Netherlands
  Portugal
2003   England
  France
  Scotland
  Wales
  Ireland
  Italy
  Romania
  Georgia
  Spain
2007   England
  France
  Ireland
  Scotland
  Wales
  Italy
  Romania
  Georgia
  Portugal
2011   England
  France
  Ireland
  Italy
  Scotland
  Wales
  Georgia
  Russia
  Romania
2015   England
  France
  Ireland
  Italy
  Scotland
  Wales
  Georgia
  Romania
  Russia
2019   England
  France
  Georgia
  Ireland
  Italy
  Scotland
  Wales
  Russia   Germany

OceaniaEdit

Tournament Automatically qualified Qualified via competition Eliminated in
repechage
1987   Australia
  New Zealand
  Fiji
  Tonga
1991   Australia
  Fiji
  New Zealand
  Western Samoa
1995   Australia
  Western Samoa
  New Zealand
  Tonga
1999   New Zealand   Australia
  Fiji
  Samoa
  Tonga
2003   Australia
  New Zealand
  Fiji
  Samoa
  Tonga
2007   Australia
  New Zealand
  Fiji
  Samoa
  Tonga
2011   Australia
  Fiji
  New Zealand
  Tonga
  Samoa
2015   Australia
  New Zealand
  Samoa
  Tonga
  Fiji
2019   Australia
  New Zealand
  Fiji
  Samoa
  Tonga
  Cook Islands

Repechage resultsEdit

The repechage, a second chance for teams that had finished runners-up in each qualifying zone, has been a feature of qualifying since it was introduced during qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup. The following table shows which teams have participated in the repechage — both the teams that have qualified via the repechage, and the teams that have failed to qualify via the repechage.

Repechage results by country
RWC
Qualifying
Qualified through
repechage
Score Eliminated at final
stage of repechage
Eliminated at preliminary
stage of repechage
1999   Tonga
  Uruguay
140–41*
36–24*
  South Korea
  Morocco
  Georgia
  Portugal
  Netherlands
2003   Tonga
  United States
194–0*
120–26*
  South Korea
  Spain
  Tunisia
2007   Tonga
  Portugal
85–3
24–23*
  South Korea
  Uruguay
  Morocco
2011   Romania 60–33*   Uruguay   Tunisia
  Kazakhstan
2015   Uruguay 57–49*   Russia   Zimbabwe
  Hong Kong
2019   Canada round
robin
  Germany
  Hong Kong
  Kenya
  Cook Islands

Note: All scores marked with an asterisk (*) are aggregate scores over two legs.


Repechage results by continent
RWC
Qualifying
Oceania Americas Europe Asia Africa
1999 1–0 1–0 0–3 0–1 0–1
2003 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–1 0–1
2007 1–0 0–1 1–0 0–1 0–1
2011 0–1 1–0 0–1 0–1
2015 1–0 0–1 0–1 0–1
2019 0–1 1–0 0–1 0–1 0–1
Total:
1999–2019
3–1
(75%)
4–2
(67%)
2–6
(25%)
0–6
(0%)
0–6
(0%)

2011 qualifying formatEdit

Automatic qualificationEdit

Unlike recent tournaments (where all eight quarter-finalists from the previous tournament automatically qualified for the subsequent world cup) automatic qualification for the 2011 World Cup was awarded to the twelve teams which finished in the top three of each of the 2007 World Cup groups (pools).[4]

Qualification for 2011Edit

Seven of the eight qualifying spots were given out as follows: two spots each for Europe and Americas and one each for Asia, Africa and Oceania. The final spot was determined by the winner of a playoff, that included the third place teams from the American and European qualifying tournaments and the second place teams from the African and Asian qualifying tournaments.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Rankings to determine RWC pools". BBC News. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Official RWC 2011 Site – Twenty teams to compete at Rugby World 2011". Rugbyworldcup.com. 30 November 2007. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Official RWC 2011 Site – Caribbean kick off for RWC 2011 qualifying". Rugbyworldcup.com. 3 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  4. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Rankings to determine RWC pools". BBC News. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2011.

External linksEdit