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RWC 2023 Qualifying

Brigantine

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Where things are up to now:
Direct Qualification 一 Repechage 一一 Countries Still Competing
  • Africa 2 一 一 一 Africa 3 一一一 8 remaining
  • Americas 2 & 3 - Americas 4 一一 4 remaining - USA (16), Uruguay (17), Canada (22), Chile (28)
  • 一一一一一一 一 Asia 2 一一一一 3 remaining
  • Europe 7 & 8 一 Europe 9 一一一 6 remaining
  • Samoa (13) 一一 Tonga (15)
I mostly track who qualifies for the "Final 23", i.e. either RWC 2023 or the final repechage tournament in November 2022.
  • Africa AD 1 --------- 2022 TBD ------------- (Namibia 25) ---------- ---------- winner of Namibia (25) vs Burkina Faso (91) plays winner of Zimbabwe (34) vs Ivory Coast (40)
  • Africa BC 1 ----------2022 TBD ------------- (Kenya 35) ------------------------ winner of Kenya (35) vs Uganda (51) plays winner of Senegal (44) vs Algeria (90)
  • South America 2 ------------------------------- Uruguay (17)
  • North America 1 - Sept 4 & Sept 11 --- (USA 16) ---------------- -----------winner of USA (16) vs Canada (22) H&A
  • Americas X --------- TBD ---------- ----------- (Canada 22) ---------------------- winner of North America 2 vs Chile (28) H&A
  • Asia 2 ----------------- 2022 Jan -------------- (Hong Kong 21) ----- ----------- winner of the "2020" Asia Rugby Championship Tri-Nations - Hong Kong (21), Korea (31), Malaysia (50)
  • Europe 7, 8 & 9 --- Nov to July 2022 - (Georgia 12, Romania 17, Russia 23?) - top 3 in the combined 2021 & 2022 table of the Rugby Europe Championship - Georgia (12), Romania (18), Portugal (19), Spain (20), Russia (23), Netherlands (24)
  • Oceania 4 & 5 -----------------------------------Samoa (13), Tonga (15)
Things that happened recently:
  • July 17: Samoa (13) became Oceania 4 after beating Tonga (15) "H&A" in Auckland and Hamilton
  • July 24: Tonga (15) became Oceania 5 after beating Cook Islands (53) in Pukekohe
    • Cook Islands (53) were eliminated
    • Oceania qualifying is finished
  • July 25: South America Championship finished
    • Uruguay (17) became S-Am 2
    • Chile (28) became S-Am 3
    • Brazil (26) were eliminated
Of all the qualifying, the most interesting is Europe - The 2021 Rugby Europe Championship finished except for postponed games. Qualifying will resume in November, and finish around July 2022.

Here is where things stand:
(my analysis here - Despite appearances, with easy games in hand it's a close 4-way race still for Europe 8 and Europe 9)
1626622879746-png.11711


Overview of the qualification places / process: (diagram)
  • 12 Countries qualify automatically based on RWC 2019 performance - 10 Tier 1 plus Japan (10) and Fiji (11)
  • 6 qualify directly, including:
    • Africa 2 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 一 一 winner of Africa AD 1 vs Africa BC 1
    • Americas 2 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 winner of North America 1 vs South America 2 H&A
    • Americas 3 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 Americas X gets to challenge the loser H&A - if history is any guide, this is likely Canada (22) vs Uruguay (17)
  • 1 from an Asia-Pacific playoff
    • Asia-Pacific 6 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 Asia 2 vs Pacific 5 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 一 一 一 一 likely Hong Kong (21) vs Tonga (15)
  • 1 from a final repechage tournament (single round robin)
    • Either Africa 3, Americas 4, Asia-Pacific 7 or Europe 9 -> the stronger sides competing here could be e.g. Uruguay (17), Romania (18), Portugal (19), Canada (22), Russia (23)

South-America 3 has new significance. They get an opportunity to challenge N-Am 2 for the "Final 23" place, and then N-Am 1 for a direct qualification place. These two places were previously reserved for USA and Canada. So for the first time, Anyone can flunk out before the final repechage tournament if they don't perform.

Though in practice / in probability, to make the Final 23:
  • for Samoa (13)/Tonga (15) this only means beating the Cook Islands (53) - 【Already done】
  • for USA (16)/Canada (22), this only means beating Chile (28) 一一一previously they couldn't fail if they tried
  • for Namibia (25) this means beating Zimbabwe (34) and Ivory Coast (40)
  • for Kenya (35) this means beating Senegal (44) and Uganda (51)

Comments on Tier 3 inclusion, COVID impacts etc. etc.

First of all, Africa's new system... It's good in terms of the Africa 2, but for the Africa 3 repechage place not so much - There is no provision for Africa 2 and Africa 3 to come from the same half of the draw - Pools A & D on one hand and Pools B & C on the other. In practice and probability, this means e.g. Zimbabwe (34) (and Tunisia (39) before they withdrew) would have to beat Namibia (25), as opposed to competing with Kenya (35) etc. for silver.

Compared to normal, due to COVID there are fewer competitions and many low-ranked countries had no opportunity to compete. OTOH, Rugby Africa has been doing good work and brought in a bunch of first appearances by newly minted WR members.

Eliminated by COVID: (19 countries)
  • Withdrew or eliminated by defaulting a match due to COVID in their own team:
    • Colombia (32)
    • Tunisia (39)
  • 2020 Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 (and promotion-relegation match with ARC Tri-Nations) - cancelled
    • Philippines (41)
    • Sri Lanks (48)
    • Singapore (55)
    • UAE (61)
  • 2020 (and 2021) Rugby Americas North Championship - cancelled
    • Mexico (42)
    • Trinidad and Tobago (52)
    • Cayman Islands (57)
    • Guyana (58)
    • Jamaica (66)
    • Bermuda (67)
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines (79)
    • Barbados (81)
    • Bahamas (101)
  • 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup - cancelled
    • PNG (83) - (withdrew from 2019)
    • Niue (98) - (did not enter 2019, but did 2011)
    • Tahiti (100) - (disqualified from 2019 due to ineligible players)
    • Solomon Islands (104) - (did not enter for 2019, but did 2015)
First-time entrants - all new World Rugby members just recently added to the World Rugby Rankings at 30.00 points
  • Algeria (90)
  • Burkina Faso (91)
  • Burundi (102)
Iran (93) and Laos (93) are also new members / new on the rankings, but they can't join RWC 2023 qualification. (because they have to earn promotion through the Asia Rugby Championship divisions, which they aren't in a position to do in time)

Competitions - Projecting back the path to qualification for low ranked sides:
(#) of Final 23 places available to each region, excluding automatic qualifiers
  • (2) Africa:
    • (1) Pools A & D
      • Tier 3 - 2021 Africa Cup qualifiers (3 countries)
      • Tier 2 - 2021 Africa Cup (4 countries + 1 place) 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 including Namibia (25)
      • Tier 1 - 2022 Africa Cup (0 countries + 4 places)
    • (1) Pools B & C
      • Tier 2 - 2021 Africa Cup (6 countries) 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 一 including Kenya (35)
      • Tier 1 - 2022 Africa Cup (0 countries + 4 places)
  • (3) America:
    • (1) South America
      • (Caribbean) Tier 3 - 2020 Rugby Americas North Championship (9 countries) cancelled
      • Tier 2 - 2021 South American Championship qualifiers (3 countries, 1 place) - South America's tier 2 and tier 3 competitions seem to have stopped after 2018
      • (1) Tier 1 - 2021 South American Championship (1 country, 2 places) 一一一一一一一一一一一一 including Uruguay (17)
    • (1) 2021/09 - USA & Canada (2 countries) 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 including USA (16), Canada (22)
    • (1) Playoff N-Am 2 vs S-Am 3
  • (1) Asia:
    • Tier 4 - 2018 Asia Rugby Championship Division 3 East & Division 3 Central (4 countries and 3 non-eligible teams)
    • Tier 3 - 2018 & 2019 Asia Rugby Championships Division 2 (3 countries, 1 relegated, 2 places)
    • Tier 2 - 2019 & 2020 Asia Rugby Championships Division 1 (4 countries, 1 relegated, 1 place) cancelled
    • Tier 1/2 Promotion/Relegation match (2 places) cancelled
    • (1) Tier 1 - "2020" Asia Rugby Championship Tri-Nations (3 countries, 1 relegated, 1 place) 一一一一一一 including Hong Kong (21)
  • (3) Europe:
    • Tier 6 - 2016-17 Rugby Europe Development competition (1 country and 2 non-eligible teams)
    • Tier 5 - 2016-17 & 2017-18 Rugby Europe Conference 2 (7 countries, 1 place and 2 non-eligible teams)
    • Tier 4 - 2017-18 & 2018-19 Rugby Europe Conference 1 (10 countries, 2 relegated, 2 places)
    • Tier 3 - 2019-20 Rugby Europe Trophy (6 countries, 1 relegated, 1 place) 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 including Germany (30)
    • Tier 2/3 Promotion/Relegation match (2 places)
    • (3) Tier 2 - 2020, 2021 & 2022 Rugby Europe Championships (6 countries, 1 relegated, 1 place) 一一一一 including Georgia (12), Romania (18), Portugal (19), Spain (20), Russia (23)
  • (2) Pacific:
    • Tier 3 - 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup (5 countries) cancelled, Cook Islands progress based on rankings (1 country)
    • (1) Tier 2/3 has no promotion/relegation, just a RWC qualification playoff (2 places)
    • (1) Tier 2 - 2021 Pacific Nations Cup, but with 2 legs and no Fiji (11) (2 countries, 1 relegated) 一一 一 一 Including Samoa (13), Tonga (15)
oh man, I really shouldn't start little projects like this that end up so big...
 

Brigantine

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Following up on the "First time entrants" thing... Firstly a correction: Burundi (102), Iran (93) and Laos (93) are new on the rankings, but NOT new WR members - they've been around a while, just without enough games against other full members to have a ranking.

Overall, World Rugby has been slowly growing in the last 5 years, and avoided the usual trickle of suspensions / expulsions / disbandments. We'll see if it lasts post-COVID.
TBH it's still not as much progress as I would have expected.

There are currently
  • 108 full members - all in the rankings
    • Of which 78 were competing in would-be RWC qualifying competitions, and 14 more may or may not have entered a competition that wasn't held because of COVID
  • 1 former member in the rankings: Tahiti (100) - maybe because the French RU took over representing them?
  • 1 suspended member still in the rankings (for now): Greece (108) since 2014
  • 2 suspended (associate?) members not in the rankings (Mauritania since 2013, Armenia since 2014)
  • 18 associate members (not in the rankings)
  • approx 30 further members of the continental rugby associations
    • Also used to be 2 former World Rugby members (Arabian Gulf disbanded in 2010 and Iran joined in it's place, Cambodia expelled in 2016)
Recent new full members / new on the rankings:
(108 full members up from 105, and 110 in the rankings up from 103 in 2016)
  • 2019 / 2021 Algeria (90)
  • 2018 / 2021 Burkina Faso (91)
  • -------- / 2021 Iran (93=)
  • -------- / 2021 Laos (93=)
  • --------/ 2021 Burundi (102)
  • 2017 / 2018 Ghana (85) <- upgraded from an associate member
  • ------- / 2018 Costa Rica (97)
Recent new associate members:
(up from 13 to 18)
  • 2020 Panama
  • 2020 Turkey
  • 2020 Jordan
  • 2020 Nepal
  • 2020 Qatar
  • 2018 Lebanon
  • to 2017 Ghana <- upgraded to full member
800px-World_Rugby_member_unions_and_associates.svg.png

Dark green: WR Full members - Light Green: WR associate members
 
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Brigantine

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Is Canada having a revival? That's not the score I was expecting! At this rate they might earn a direct qualification spot.
 

Al Bangor

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Brigantine

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Sure, I wouldn't be too surprised actually.

but will they lose by 13+? otherwise they win on aggregate
 

miccloarch

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800px-World_Rugby_member_unions_and_associates.svg.png

Dark green: WR Full members - Light Green: WR associate members
Loving that map. Good to see despite their general incompetence and corruption in other areas World Rugby is at least growing the game globally by taking it to so many non-traditional rugby nations. Now if they'd only help tier two nations integrate a bit better...
 

Al Bangor

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USA Eagles have now won 13 of their last 14 matches vs Canada.

1631575568340.png
 
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Brigantine

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Where things are up to now:

(no change to this part)
Direct Qualification 一 Repechage 一一 Countries Still Competing
  • Africa 2 ----- ------ Africa 3 ----------- 8 remaining
  • Americas 2 & 3 - Americas 4 ------ 4 remaining - USA (16), Uruguay (17), Canada (21), Chile (28)
  • ------------------------ Asia 2 ----- ---- --- 3 remaining
  • Europe 7 & 8 ---- Europe 9 --------- 6 remaining
  • Samoa (13) ------ Tonga (15)

Qualification for the "Final 23", i.e. either RWC 2023 or the final repechage tournament in November 2022.

-> USA secured Final 23 spot on Sept 11 by beating Canada H&A
-> Dates set for Americas X H&A playoff: Oct 2 in Canada and Oct 9 in Chile
  • Africa AD 1 --------- 2022 TBD ------------- (Namibia 25) ------------ -------------- --------- winner of Namibia (25) vs Burkina Faso (91) plays winner of Zimbabwe (34) vs Ivory Coast (40)
  • Africa BC 1 ----------2022 TBD ------------- (Kenya 35) --------------------- ------------------ winner of Kenya (35) vs Uganda (51) plays winner of Senegal (44) vs Algeria (90)
  • South America 2 ------------------------------- Uruguay (17)
  • North America 1 --------------- -------------- *USA (16)*
  • Americas X --------- *Oct 2 & Oct *9 --- (Canada 21) -------------------------------------- winner of *Canada (21)* vs Chile (28) H&A
  • Asia 2 ----------------- 2022 Jan -------------- (Hong Kong 22) ------------- ------------------ winner of the "2020" Asia Rugby Championship Tri-Nations - Hong Kong (22), Korea (31), Malaysia (50)
  • Europe 7, 8 & 9 --- Nov to July 2022 -- (Georgia 12, Romania 17, Russia 23?) - top 3 in the combined 2021 & 2022 table of the Rugby Europe Championship - Georgia (12), Romania (18), Portugal (19), Spain (20), Russia (23), Netherlands (24)
  • Oceania 4 & 5 -----------------------------------Samoa (13), Tonga (15)

Overview of the qualification places / process: (diagram)

The H&A playoffs for Americas 2 will be on Oct 2 in USA and Oct 9 in Uruguay
  • 12 Countries qualify automatically based on RWC 2019 performance - 10 Tier 1 plus Japan (10) and Fiji (11)
  • 6 qualify directly, including:
    • Africa 2 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 一 一 winner of Africa AD 1 vs Africa BC 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2022 TBD
    • Americas 2 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 winner of *USA (16)* vs Uruguay (17) H&A ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Oct 2 & Oct 9 2021
    • Americas 3 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 Americas X gets to challenge the loser H&A - if history is any guide, this is likely Canada (21) vs Uruguay (17) -------------------------- TBD
  • 1 from an Asia-Pacific playoff
    • Asia-Pacific 6 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 Asia 2 vs Pacific 5 一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一 一 一 一 一 likely Hong Kong (22) vs Tonga (15) ------------------------ 2022 TBD
  • 1 from a final repechage tournament (single round robin)
    • Either Africa 3, Americas 4, Asia-Pacific 7 or Europe 9 -> the stronger sides competing here could be e.g. Uruguay (17), Romania (18), Portugal (19), Canada (21), Russia (23) ----------- Last - TBD
 
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