by Ciarán Duffy
Uruguay have confirmed their place in the play-off to enter the World Cup as Americas 2 by winning the CONSUR Rugby Championship A. They beat Chile 27 – 11 in their final match. The two sides were level on points going into the game having won their first two fixtures. Also over the weekend, Brazil beat Paraguay 57 – 6 to finish 3rd.
Uruguay will now play the loser of the playoff between Canada and the USA. The first leg of the Canada – USA play-off takes place on June 24th, with the second leg a week later on July 1st. The winner of the Canada – USA play-off will qualify as Americas 1. The loser of that playoff will play Uruguay in 2018 in a two-legged playoff to qualify as Americas 2, the loser of that will go into the repechage.
Plenty of action in the European conferences. Hungary beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 19 – 17 in the Round 1 final, while Czech Republic beat Malta 48 – 14 in the Round 2 final. Czech Republic then beat Hungary 47 – 19 on Saturday. They will now play Portugal in November. The winner of that match will play the runner-up of the Rugby Europe Championship, Spain currently sit in 2nd place behind Romania. Spain beat Belgium 30 – 0 to keep up the pressure on the leaders. It was a busy week for Belgium as they beat Portugal 2 days later to ensure they would remain in the championship for the 2018 matches. In the other game, Russia beat Germany 52 – 25 to move into 3rd place.
Malaysia secured their place in the 2018 Asia Rugby Championship in comfortable fashion winning all their games. They’ll play Hong Kong and South Korea. The winner of that will play the 2017 Oceania Rugby Cup winner in a two-legged play-off for a place in the repechage.
The Pacific Nations Cup will continue on July 1st with Tonga taking on Samoa. Elsewhere in qualification Cook Islands take on Tahiti in August in the 2017 Oceania Rugby Cup, the winner will go through to the Asia/Oceania play-off for a repechage place.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup begins on the 24th of June. The opening round of fixtures are Kenya vs Uganda, and Senegal vs Zimbabwe.
Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport). He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.
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