Russia’s ban qualifies Georgia for 2023 Rugby World Cup
DUBLIN (AP) — Georgia qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup on Thursday after organizers clarified the suspension of Russia and Belarus due to the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s remaining three matches in the Rugby Europe Championship — also doubling as World Cup qualifying — were ruled abandoned by the Rugby World Cup board.
Georgia, the Netherlands and Portugal were awarded four points each.
That mathematically qualified Georgia, which led the championship unbeaten with two games in hand.
Only the top two teams automatically qualify for the World Cup, and third-placed Portugal was 10 points behind Georgia with one game left.
Portugal, Spain, and Romania remain in contention for the second berth. The third-place team will advance to the repechage tournament in November.
Georgia has to wait to find out whether it has qualified for the World Cup in France next year as Europe 1, which would put it in a pool with Australia, Wales and Fiji, or Europe 2 with defending champion South Africa and Ireland.
Georgia has qualified for every Rugby World Cup since 2003 but has yet to get out of the pool stage.
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