SCOTLAND will not be in the same pool as England and France if they make it through the qualifying process to reach next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, with this evening’s draw pitching them against either the host nation and Australia or the USA and Canada.
Next month’s European Qualifying Tournament has been postponed due to Covid issues, meaning Bryan Easson’s team still do not know who they will need to beat in order to make it the main event. As things stand, they can go through either by winning the European qualifying competition outright, or by finishing second then winning a global repechage tournament, but Covid restrictions have so far prevented competition organisers from finalising dates.
Hosts and holders New Zealand have already qualified along with six other teams – England, France, USA, Canada, Australia and Wales – by virtue of their placings at the 2017 World Cup. South Africa and Fiji have since come through qualifying competitions, leaving just the last three places to be filled – an Asian winner, a European winner and the winner of the repechage/final qualification tournament, which will include the Europe and Asia runners-up plus Samoa and either Kenya or Colombia.
Read The Offside Line’s call for a simplification in the qualifying process for the World Cup HERE.
RWC 2021 (New Zealand, 18 September to 16 October):
- New Zealand
- Final qualification winner
- Europe 1
- Asia 1
- South Africa