Rugby World Cup | Who will make it to the Final Qualifying Tournament, and why ought you support?

Rugby World Cup | Who will make it to the Final Qualifying Tournament, and why ought you support?

Rugby World Cup : The competition for the last qualification position for Rugby World Cup 2023 is wide open, with three teams rated between 19th and 22nd place and another just outside the top 30 in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

Although the United States is the clear favorite in the Rugby Europe Championship based on past performance and current standings, Portugal is making a strong showing under the leadership of Patrice Lagisquet.

Taking a page out of Portugal’s playbook, Kenya will seek to play a fast-paced, possession-oriented style, while Hong Kong, having overcome so many barriers to get this point, will believe anything is possible.

Here’s all you need to know to compete in the Grand Final Qualifying Round.

When does the Final Qualifying Round take place?

It will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on November 6-18, 2022. The dates of the three games are as follows: Sunday, November 6th; Saturday, November 12th; and Friday, November 18th.

What exactly is at risk, if anything?

At the completion of the round robin event, the side with the most points will be awarded the 20th and final berth to the Rugby World Cup 2023. The winner will join Pool C with Wales, Australia, Georgia, and Fiji.

I don’t understand how they’ve made it this far.

By finishing in third place in both the 2021 and 2022 Rugby Europe Championships, Portugal was the first team to secure a spot in the Final Qualification Tournament. After the Simbas came in second to Namibia in the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 in France, on July 10 they were joined by Kenya.

Hong Kong, champions of the Asia Rugby Championship in 2022, will want to redeem themselves after suffering a 44-22 loss to Tonga on Saturday, 23 July. The United States is in this position because Uruguay and Chile won the Americas 1 and Americas 2 places, respectively.

Where do these teams stand in the Capgemini-sponsored World Rugby Men’s Rankings?

The United States is currently the highest-ranked team in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini, sitting at number 19 overall. The Eagles had reached an all-time high of thirteenth in the rankings leading up to the last Rugby World Cup.

Twenty-first is Portugal, followed by Hong Kong at number 22. The United States of America is ranked twentieth. Kenya is the lowest-ranked team in the Final Qualification Tournament, coming in at number 33.

Which teams are in peak shape?

No team can be said to be riding a wave of momentum into Dubai based only on their performance.

But Portugal has attracted everyone’s attention with their exciting, aggressive rugby. Os Lobos opened the new year with a 25-25 tie against Georgia, snapping the Lelos’ 20-match winning streak. Only the Netherlands have been defeated in their last five matches, although there are many encouraging signs to be taken from losses to Romania (37-27), Spain (33-28), Italy (38-31), Argentina XV (52-35), and Georgia (35-52). (23-14). In 2022, Os Lobos are scoring 31 points per game on average.

Three of the United States’ ten matches since the 2019 Rugby World Cup have resulted in a victory: against Chile (22-21), Uruguay (19-16), and Canada (38-16). Unfortunately, the previous four years have been a letdown for Americas 1, who qualified for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

The checklist isn’t very comprehensive for Hong Kong and Kenya. Hong Kong has only played twice in the previous three years, winning the Asia Rugby Championship 2022 after defeating Korea and then losing to Tonga in the Asia/Pacific 1 play-off. Kenya, meanwhile, beat Uganda (42-7) and Algeria (36-33), but ultimately fell to Namibia (36-0) in the final of the Rugby Africa Cup 2022.

Are there any notable matchups?

Both the United States and Kenya are regular opponents on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, but they had never met at this level before the Final Qualification Tournament.

The most frequent matchup in the Final Qualification Tournament has been between the United States and Hong Kong; the two sides have faced seven times previously, with the Asian champions holding a narrow 4-3 advantage in the head-to-head.

Portugal will need to create history if they want to compete in the Rugby World Cup 2023. They have never qualified for the tournament previously. Os Lobos have lost twice against the United States since 2010, and they were defeated by Kenya (41) and Hong Kong (16-13) in 2015.

Is this the first time any of these teams have attended the Rugby World Cup?

The United States has the deepest pedigree in the Rugby World Cup, having participated in all but one edition (South Africa in 1995). When these two teams met in the’repechage’ in 2003, the Eagles cruised to a 120-26 victory on aggregate, qualifying for the Rugby World Cup.

Portugal is the only one of the three that has played in the Rugby World Cup previously (in 2007), thus they will be hoping to return there with the help of their vast ex-pat population.

When was the last Final Qualification Tournament, and what did you learn from it?
The most recent Final Qualification Tournament was held in Marseille, France, in November of 2018, and it included four teams: Kenya, Hong Kong, Canada, and Germany.

Kenya was Hong Kong’s sole victim, as they were blown out by an average of 36 points in all three games. Canada swept the event with three victories to earn a berth in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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