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World Cup format



There is something profoundly wrong with the world cup format. And I don't mean that the number of participating teams should be reduced. This is exactly what people in cricket said (anybody seen India or Pakistan in the 2nd stage of the Cricket World Cup? No? Why? Oh, Ireland and Bangladesh :) ), it's exactly what people in footy said 25 years ago and so on.

What I mean is the notion that in a group stage 2 out of 5 teams (40%) qualify. Tons of games are being played of no relevance because only the top 2 qualify. The IRB tried to improve on that by getting the teams on 3rd place in each group to qualify automatically for the next world cup. My proposal:

Winner of group qualifies directly to quarter-finals.
2nd place teams play 3rd place teams in a play-in round. (of course, 2nd team from pool A plays 3rd team from pool B,C or D, *not* pool A).

Thus we avoid embarrassing events, like Italy/Scotland in the QF with Argentina or Ireland being out.

Flame away :p


The problem about this idea is that the teams that finish 2nd and 3rd in their groups will need to play an extra game in an already tight schedule.

This will be great for the top four teams (1st in their group) as in the QF game they will play against a team that had to play a tough game 3 days ago whilst they have had a week's rest.

This is a case of the strong getting stronger and the weak getting weaker.


With 20 teams needing to become 8 is hard to do so a 16 team World Cup would be ideal. Looks like a Allblacks v Wallabies Semi Final and the winner to take on France or England. Would be great to have an Allblacks - Wallabies final but it won't happen.

An Tarbh

Didn't they try that in the 1999 World Cup? [/b]

They did but it was different than what is being proposed here, in 99 it was 5 runners-up with 3 best 3rd place teams, under this format you'd have 4 2nd and 4 3rd place teams playing each other and the added advantage to the pool winner of having to play 1 less game.


I Stated recently in another thread, the idea of the u-19 RWC, with a 2nd and even 3rd division. This would open up the RWC to more countries and if a 20 team format for each division. There are 2 major setbacks:

1 Too many teams and amtches, it would be a messy organization.

2 Do you see the IRB letting Scotland or Wales play for relegation???

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