Saturday, July 18, 2009

World Cup qualifier round-up

Great news for Samoa, who beat Papua New Guinea 73-12 to qualify for Pool D in the 2012 World Cup in New Zealand.

The last remaining place in Pool D will be settled in November as Tunisia and Namibia face off.

The USA still has the opportunity to qualify after their loss to Canada earlier this month. Canada has now sealed the spot in Pool A, and the Eagles will face Uruguay to compete for the Americas 2 qualifier spot in Pool C. The loser will still have one more chance to qualify through the cross-continental final place playoff in 2010.

The winner of the Asian 5 Nations will qualify as Asia 1 in Pool A with the runner-up playing in the final place playoff. The 5 Nations teams are made up of Arabian Gulf, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Korea.

With England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales already pre-qualified, there are two definite pool places up for grabs, with one additional chance in the final place playoff. Battling it out are Belgium, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine. The top 2 from the European Nations Cup (ENC) Division 1 will qualify as Europe 1 (Pool B) and Europe 2 (Pool C). The 3rd and 4th place teams from the division will compete for a spot in the final place playoff.

Here's how the current pools are looking:

Pool A - New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Asia 1 (Winner of Asian 5 Nations)

Pool B - Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe 1 (winner of ENC Div. 1), Final place playoff (TBD)

Pool C - Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe 2 (runner-up of ENC Div. 1), Americas 2 (USA or Uruguay)

Pool D - South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Africa 1 (Namibia or Tunisia)



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