Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Russian Federation qualify for Rugby World Cup as rivals fall

Russian Federation qualify for Rugby World Cup as rivals fall

The victor of that tie will go into World Cup Pool A alongside Russian Federation.

That prompted World Rugby to launch an investigation and during that probe, the independent disputes committee discovered that all three teams had selected players that they should not have.

Joe Schmidt's side will play Conor O'Shea's Italy at Chicago venue where they famously beat the All Blacks for the first time.

Spain had requested that their qualifier against Belgium, a game officiated by a Romanian, be replayed.

World Rugby then set up a disputes committee to examine the complaint.

Though Spain contested the eligibility charge weighed against them, the committee concluded that they were "satisfied that World Rugby's submissions on the fielding of ineligible players by Spain are correct".

World Rugby added in their statement that it was "extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events" and added: 'Regulation 8 covering eligibility is essential to maintaining the unique characteristics and culture of elite competitions between unions, and the integrity of global matches depends on strict adherence to eligibility criteria set out in the regulation.

World Rugby ordered a review of the controversial qualifying match between Spain and Belgium in Brussels, whose result - an 18-10 win for Belgium - meant Romania qualified for the World Cup and not Spain by virtue of being the second-place team in the Rugby Europe Championship.

Initially, Spain demanded a rematch after they lost to Belgium to allow Romania to qualify at their expense.

Spain and Belgium have also been retrospectively penalised for the same reason.

A 14-day appeal window is now open if those involved to challenge the ruling.

"In order to maximise Samoa's preparation for these important matches, World Rugby is also funding Samoa's entry into the 2018 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji between 9-16 June, which features Fiji, Georgia and Tonga". The loser will still have a chance of progress via the Repechage competition in November.

'Considering the absence of feedback from the Federation of Tonga, the RRU addressed World Rugby to find an alternate e-mail address to contact a person in charge from the aforementioned union.

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