Romania defeated Uruguay 39-12 in a match played in Bucharest last night to become the last of the twenty teams to qualify for a position in one of the four pools in next year’s Rugby World Cup, to be played in New Zealand in September.
Romania will join Georgia in Pool B. For either of them to make it out of the pool into the elimination rounds they will need to defeat the other and two of Argentina, England and Scotland, a formidable task, but both these teams are worth watching and their match against each other, to be played at Palmerston North on 28 September, should be a good one.
The final composition of the pools is:
New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Japan
Argentina, England, Scotland, Georgia, Romania
Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, USA
South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Namibia
It will take a significant upset for any of the first two in the four pools to fail to make it into the elimination rounds; the best prospect of causing such an upset would have to be Scotland.
There will be many great games in the pool rounds: France-New Zealand will be a cracker, Australia-Ireland is always a tough slog, and games like Fiji-Samoa among the lesser lights are always entertaining.
After that the fun will really start – it’s sudden death, and four years before there is another chance to hold up the Webb-Ellis Cup.