Russia will no longer be able to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, ensuring Georgia’s place in the tournament in France. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Rugby suspended the country from international and cross-border competition.
On Thursday, the Rugby World Cup board confirmed that Russia would be unable to complete their qualification matches. Georgia is now assured of a place in the European qualifying tournament.
The Georgia Rugby squad has secured a place in the 2023 Rugby World Cup after the organisers decided to cancel all remaining qualifiers involving Russia during their meeting.
With this decision, Russia’s remaining three group opponents, Georgia, the Netherlands, and Portugal, were each awarded four points, leaving Georgia atop the table and ensuring a top-two finish in the region’s overall qualification table.
The top two teams automatically qualify for the World Cup, and with Portugal in third place, 10 points behind Georgia, the squad’s inclusion in the next stage seems logical.
This means that Portugal, Spain, and Romania will now compete for the lone automatic spot at the mega event.
The 3rd placed team too will have a shot at getting into the mega event, but it will have to play in the repechage tournament in November.
Meanwhile, while Georgia has qualified for France 2023, it is unclear whether they will qualify as Europe 1 or Europe 2.
Qualifying as Europe 1 puts them in a pool with Australia, Wales, and Fiji, while qualifying as Europe 2 puts them in a pool with defending champions South Africa, Scotland, and Ireland.
It is worth noting that, while Georgia has qualified for every Rugby World Cup since 2003, it has never progressed beyond the pool stages.
Georgia’s best-ever performance was a third-place pool finish in England in 2015, but it only won one game in the most recent event in Japan. The team will hope to enhance its performances and advance to the next stage of the tournament by setting a new best.
Russia banned from more sports events
Following the International Olympic Committee’s and other international sports federations’ appeals, several sports and sporting bodies have barred Russian athletes from competing in any sporting event in the aftermath of the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Not only Russia but also Belarus will be unable to send athletes to the events because they, too, were barred from participating for assisting Russia in its attack on Ukraine.