Friday, February 02, 2018

World Cup Qualifiers 2018 Key Dates [Update]



All kick-off times are in Irish time.  

Africa

Africa 1 will be decided in the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup.  The winner will qualify as Africa 1, they’ll go into Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, and Repechage Winner.  The runner-up will go into the repechage.  

Rugby Africa Gold Cup Fixtures:
16th June:
Zimbabwe – Morocco; 01:00
Namibia Uganda; 01:00
23rd June:
Namibia – Tunisia; 01:00
Morocco – Kenya; 01:00
30th June:
Kenya – Zimbabwe; 22:00
Morocco – Namibia; 01:00
7th July:
Kenya – Uganda, 01:00
Tunisia – Zimbabwe; 01:00
4th August:
Uganda – Tunisia; 01:00
Zimbabwe – Namibia; 01:00
11th August:
Kenya – Tunisia; 01:00
Uganda – Morocco; 01:00
18th August:
Namibia – Kenya; 01:00
Tunisia – Morocco; 01:00
Uganda – Zimbabwe; 01:00

Americas

A play-off will take place between Canada and Uruguay.  The winner of the play-off will qualify as Americas 2.  They will go into Pool D alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia, and Fiji.  The loser will go into the repechage.  Uruguay won the first leg 29 – 38.  

Fixtures:
28th January:
Canada 29 – 38 Uruguay; 01:00
3rd February:
Uruguay – Canada; 20:00

Asia

The 2018 Asia Rugby Championship will take place between April and June with dates to be determined.  It will be contested by Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea.  The winner go into a cross-regional play-off with Tahiti for a place in the repechage.  

2018 Asia Rugby Championship Fixtures
28th April
Malaysia – South Korea; 01:00
5th May
Malaysia – Hong Kong; 01:00
12th May
South Korea – Hong Kong; 01:00
19th May
South Korea – Malaysia; 01:00
26th May
Hong Kong – Malaysia; 01:00
2nd June
Hong Kong – South Korea; 01:00

Europe

The winner of the rugby Europe Championship will qualify as Europe 1.  They will go into pool A alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and play-off winner.  The runner-up will move on to round 6 to play Portugal in a one-off game.  The winner will move on to the Europe/Oceania play-off as Europe 2.  Georgia's fixtures are not factored in to the qualifying.  

Rugby Europe Championship Fixtures:
10th February
Romania – Germany; 13:00
Russia – Spain; 14:00
17th February
Russia – Belgium; 14:00
18th February
Spain – Romania; 12:30
3rd March
Romania – Russia; 13:00
Belgium – Germany; 15:00
10th March
Romania – Belgium; 13:00
11th March
Spain – Germany; 12:30
18th March
Germany – Russia; 13:00
Belgium – Spain; 13:00

Oceania
Samoa will face the runner-up of the Rugby Europe Championship in a play-off.  The winner will qualify as Play-off Winner, and will play in pool A alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and Europe 1.  The loser will go into the repechage.  

Tahiti will face the 2018 Asian Rugby Championship winner between June and July, the dates are to be determined.  The loser will get a place in the repechage.  

Cross-regional play-offs
Europe/Oceania play-off
2nd June: Europe 2 – Samoa
16th June: Samoa – Europe 2

Asia/Oceania play-off for repechage
30th June: Tahiti – Asian Rugby Championship winner
7th July: Asian Rugby Championship winner – Tahiti

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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