Russia qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 after Romania have points deducted for fielding ineligible player

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Russia have qualified automatically for next year’s Rugby World Cup after World Rugby handed down points deductions to Romania, Spain and Belgium for fielding ineligible players during qualification matches.

Romania had previously qualified as ‘Europe 1’ for next year’s tournament, having finished above Spain in the Rugby Europe Championship following Spain’s controversial defeat against Belgium on the final weekend of the competition.

Subsequent complaints from the federations to World Rugby over potential player eligibility breaches led to a full independent review.

The outcome of that review has led to Romania, Belgium and Spain all being deducted five tournament points for each fixture in which they fielded an ineligible player, under Regulation 8, resulting in Russia moving up into first place and winning Rugby World Cup qualification as Europe 1.



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