2019 Rugby World Cup

Fulcrum29

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http://thechronicleherald.ca/sports...ny-and-hong-kong-in-rugby-world-cup-repechage

Kenya became the last team to join Canada in the Rugby World Cup Repechage in November after falling 53-28 to Namibia in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup decider Saturday.

The victory earned Namibia, ranked 23rd in the world, the penultimate spot at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

No. 28 Kenya joins No. 21 Hong Kong, No. 22 Canada and No. 29 Germany in the last-chance tournament that runs Nov. 11 to 23 in Marseille. The round-robin winner will earn the final spot in the 20-team World Cup, slotting into Pool B alongside No. 1 New Zealand, No. 6 South Africa, No. 14 Italy and Namibia.

Germany fell into the repechage after losing a two-legged series to Samoa 108-43 on aggregate. Hong Kong joined the field by thumping the Cook Islands 77-3 on aggregate in a two-legged Asia-Oceania playoff.

The Canadian men have appeared at every Rugby World Cup since the tournament's inception in 1987. In past years, they have booked their tournament ticket at the first round of qualifying.
This is an acceptable repechage, good competitive rankings. Hong Kong is the most progressive team in the setup.

Team 1-20 made the RWC, the exception being Romania (17) and Spain (20) which cheated, also take note that they have not being penalised on ranking.

Russia is ranked 19th.

Namibia is the lowest ranked team at 23.

I doubt Germany or Kenya to beat either Canada or Hong Kong. Canada will go all out to win the Repechage. Hong Kong is the dark horse, never been in this position, but they seem to be amped at being the 2nd best team in Asia. I believe Kenya may also have a chance.

All in all, should Canada or Hong Kong go through, then according to the World Ranking this may be the most competitive stable going into the RWC 2019.
 

Fulcrum29

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Many thanks for the confirmation. Tough on Nam in any pool they are in. Pleased for our neighbours for getting there, though.
Namibia is in a good position; the Gold Cup is hardly a stumbling block and they win it year in and year out. What the Gold Cup need is development sides, or invitational teams, like Springbok A, England Saxons or any other ‘Junior’ or ‘Development’ side in the top 20 to enhance the competitive level.

The Gold Cup is pretty much like the Euro Cup, Georgia dominates the Euro Cup year in and year out. The Euro Cup players are at least exposed to the many clubs across Europe. Football still dominates this spectrum.

Tier 2 sides need to play tier 1 sides, tier 3 sides need to play tier 2 sides and so on… it is the only way to improve, even under dire circumstances where little money and coaching is powering the game.
 

McT

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Namibia is in a good position; the Gold Cup is hardly a stumbling block and they win it year in and year out. What the Gold Cup need is development sides, or invitational teams, like Springbok A, England Saxons or any other ‘Junior’ or ‘Development’ side in the top 20 to enhance the competitive level.

The Gold Cup is pretty much like the Euro Cup, Georgia dominates the Euro Cup year in and year out. The Euro Cup players are at least exposed to the many clubs across Europe. Football still dominates this spectrum.

Tier 2 sides need to play tier 1 sides, tier 3 sides need to play tier 2 sides and so on… it is the only way to improve, even under dire circumstances where little money and coaching is powering the game.
Completely agree with your views. It happens in cricket and seems like they will be encouraging more games between different tiers.

If they were to open up competition as you suggested, it will almost certainly lead to lower ranked teams improving and causing a few more upsets. It will be good for the game all round.
 

Fulcrum29

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England, Scotland and Wales have established their base camps in Japan.

Wales will be based at the Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu in Kitakyushu located in Kyushu and will land on September 12th, 2019. England and Scotland will also be based in Kyushu in Miyazaki and Nagasaki respectively.

Scotland has a strategic rugby alliance agreement with Nagasaki since 2016, running coaching clinics in the city. They will adapt well.

I know that Kyushu has many historical ties with the Western world, clever to see them make themselves at home here.

I guess USA will have no issue in Japan as they have a long and old, and sporting, history in Japan wherever they may land themselves. They are also Japan’s oldest rugby rivals.

The ‘island’ nations will have no problem to adapt, Tongans being the more advantaged under the circumstances.

New Zealand and Australia have recently toured Japan to see where they may possibly pack down. The other nations will do okay by themselves, most experience more or less the same conditions.

Us and Namibia will have issues…
 

walterl

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I see it's exactly a year and 16 days to our first match, we are playing the All Blacks on 21 Sept 2019
 

Fulcrum29

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I see it's exactly a year and 16 days to our first match, we are playing the All Blacks on 21 Sept 2019
My biggest concern is that there is no published article (or evidence) that SARU has negotiated a home base in Japan. Every nation which has played the game in Japan knows that it an uneasy process to adapt and that is a changing process.

Maybe they are using people like Jake White to be an ambassador, meaning that there is a possibility that we may be based in Aichi, Chubu (Tokai) in Toyota’s home.

Nonetheless, the only experience we have with adapting and playing rugby in Japan is with our players in the Top League.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.premiershiprugby.com/2018-2019/england-to-play-in-newcastle-before-heading-to-japan/

England to play in Newcastle before heading to Japan
Eddie Jones’ side will play four warm-up matches as part of their final preparations before the team depart for Japan.

England’s 2019 Quilter Internationals see them take on Wales (Sunday 11 August, KO 14:00) and Ireland (Saturday 24 August, KO 15:00) at Twickenham Stadium before heading to the 52,354-capacity St James’ Park in Newcastle for their final warm-up match against Italy (Friday 6 September; 19:45) before the squad flies to Tokyo.

Preparations will also see England travel to Cardiff for an away fixture against Wales (Saturday 17 August, KO TBC).

All England home matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/2018/0905/991755-ireland-rugby-warmup/

Ireland's Rugby World Cup warm-up games announced
Ireland have announced their schedule of warm-up games ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Joe Schmidt’s side will host Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 10 August and a fortnight later they will travel to Twickenham to face England.

Then there’s back-to-back games against Wales on consecutive Saturdays – in Cardiff on 31 August and Dublin on 7 September.

The World Cup kicks off in Japan with the hosts taking on Russia on Friday, 20 September. Ireland’s first game is against Scotland the following Sunday.
 

Fulcrum29

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From the two posts above, England, Wales, Ireland and Italy have a warm-up schedule. Not seeing anything on Scotland and France. Clever strategy, but cutting it close to departure.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...ve-53-bil-yen-budget-for-2019-tournament.html

Rugby: World Cup organizers approve 53 bil. yen budget for 2019 tournament
The organizing committee of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan revealed Monday a 53.3 billion yen (around $478 million) budget to host the tournament, with next week marking a year until it kicks off.

The budget includes about 13.5 billion yen for maintenance of venues and around 12.1 billion yen to manage the tournament, including accommodation and travel expenses for the teams.

The organizers estimate that ticket sales will total around 26 billion yen, or about half of the revenue. The committee originally anticipated ticket sales of around 23 billion yen in a provisional budget last year but increased the figure after seeing steady sales.

The organizers also said that Prince Fumihito, Emperor Akihito's younger son, will assume the honorary presidency of the tournament. He will take the role on Sept. 20, exactly one year before the opening of the World Cup, until the tournament closes on Nov. 2, 2019.

...

A total of 48 matches will be played by 20 participating teams in 12 cities stretching from the northern main island of Hokkaido to the southern main island of Kyushu.
England had $233 million.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.rugbyworld.com/tournaments/rugby-world-cup/2019-rugby-world-cup-warm-ups-93848

2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-Ups
2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-Ups

With nearly a year to go until the 2019 World Cup in Japan begins, we have put together a list of fixtures that will act as warm-up games for the tournament.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will all play several games in the build-up to the tournament whereas the biggest southern hemisphere nations, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, will likely use the Rugby Championship as their World Cup warm-up matches.

France have four warm-up matches on their schedule too. Check out all the matches and when they are set to take place below.

2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-Ups
England Warm-Up Matches

Sunday 11 August 2019: England v Wales, Twickenham, KO 14:00

Saturday 17 August: Wales v England, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, KO TBC

Saturday 24 August 2019: England v Ireland, Twickenham, KO 15:00

Friday 6 September 2019: England v Italy, St James Park, Newcastle, KO 19:45

France Warm-Up Matches

Saturday 17 August 2019: France v Scotland, Venue TBC (kick-off TBC)

Saturday 31 August 2019: Scotland v France, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)

(France may also be playing a warm-up match against Italy but this is yet to be confirmed. We will update this page when that occurs).

Ireland Warm-Up Matches

Saturday 10 August 2019: Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, KO TBC

Saturday 24 August 2019: England v Ireland, Twickenham, KO TBC

Saturday 31 August 2019: Wales v Ireland, Principality Stadium, KO TBC

Saturday 7 September 2019: Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, KO TBC

Scotland Warm-Up Matches

Saturday 17 August 2019: France v Scotland, Venue TBC (kick-off TBC)

Saturday 24 August 2019: Georgia v Scotland, Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia (kick-off TBC)

Saturday 31 August 2019: Scotland v France, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)

Friday 6/Saturday 7 September 2019: Scotland v Georgia, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)

Wales Warm-Up Matches

Sunday 11 August 2019: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium, KO 14:00

Saturday 17 August: Wales v England, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, KO TBC

Saturday 31 August 2019: Wales v Ireland, Principality Stadium, KO TBC

Saturday 7 September 2019: Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, KO TBC
 

Agent_Smith

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From Supersport.com

Cheika welcomes Ashley-Cooper World Cup bid

Australia coach Michael Cheika has welcomed Adam Ashley-Cooper's bid to return to the Wallabies fold and play at a fourth World Cup in Japan next year.
The 34-year-old utility back played the last of his 116 tests against New Zealand in 2016 but hopes to sign with a Super Rugby team next season and force his way into Cheika's squad.
Cheika, who coached Ashley-Cooper at the New South Wales Waratahs during their run to a maiden Super Rugby title in 2014, said he had spoken to him recently about his Wallabies ambitions.
"He said, 'I'm not looking for any favours or entrees or anything, I want to come back through Super Rugby, prove myself that I'm good enough to take the spot'," Cheika told reporters.
"And if he plays good enough in Super Rugby, then he'll get an opportunity I'd imagine like any other player.
"There's no accords, no guarantees and he doesn't want it that way. If he does come back he'll want to earn it himself.
"That's the quality of the man, that's what Ashley-Cooper's about."
Ashley-Cooper scored four tries at the 2015 World Cup in England, including a hat-trick in the semifinal against Argentina under Cheika. He also played the 2007 and 2011 tournaments.
Wallabies flyhalf Kurtley Beale said his former teammate's experience could prove valuable.
"He'd definitely influence the young guys in the group and how we want to go," he said.
"He's got to prove himself at the moment to come back (but) it'd be awesome to have a quality player like (him) back."
The Wallabies play Argentina in a Rugby Championship match in the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Interesting. Not sure exactly what role he would fulfill. He's not likely going to oust Israel Folau as fullback and at 35, I'd wager he'd probably be too slow to be on the wing. Maybe more of a utility covering role.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.americasrugbynews.com/2018/09/07/fixtures-confirmed-for-world-cup-repechage/

Fixtures confirmed for World Cup Repechage
The tournament will follow a round-robin format with only the top side advancing. At this stage the tie-breaker format is still to be confirmed. Points differential is used in the two-leg home-and-away format but it seems likely that bonus points will be the decider having been used in tournaments such as the Rugby Europe Championship and the Rugby Africa Gold Cup.

While Canada are the only side of the four to have previously participated in a World Cup, it’s Hong Kong who will enter the tournament as the highest ranked on the official World Rugby table.

CURRENT WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS
21 – 60.46 – Hong Kong
23 – 59.93 – Canada
28 – 55.71 – Kenya
29 – 55.59 – Germany

All matches will take place at the Stade Pierre Delort, a 5,000-seat stadium located adjacent to the 67,000-capacity Vélodrome near the city-centre of Marseille, France. Kickoff times have yet to be revealed but the match order will be as below.

ROUND 1 – Sunday, November 11
Canada vs Kenya
Germany vs Hong Kong

ROUND 2 – Saturday, November 17
Canada vs Germany
Kenya vs Hong Kong

ROUND 3 – Friday, November 23
Canada vs Hong Kong
Germany vs Kenya
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_...-army-romania-ahead-rugby-world-cup-repechage

Kenya to play British Army, Romania ahead of Rugby World Cup repechage
Kenya have secured two more fixtures to prepare the Simbas for the Rugby World Cup Repechage in France in November.

Coach Ian Snook's side will now face the British Army and Romania in games that bookmark previously announced matches against World Cup-bound Namibia and a South African semi-professional side, Loftus 200.

"I am very happy about these developments because playing these teams will give us true test of what to expect," Snook told KweséESPN.

"We need to try out several things in these build-ups so that we go to France in good form.
I read some time ago that Kenya doesn't have the budget to go to France to compete in the repechage. Apparently, they need $500,000 to go on tour.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.skysports.com/rugby-uni...ed-germany-head-coach-for-world-cup-repechage

Mike Ford appointed Germany head coach for World Cup repechage
Germany have appointed Mike Ford as head coach for their World Cup repechage campaign in November.

Ford, who worked as a defence coach with England and the British and Irish Lions before head coach roles with Bath and Toulon, will take charge of Germany for their games against Hong Kong, Canada and Kenya.

"I am delighted that I now have the opportunity to develop such an ambitious team as Germany, and possibly even lead them to a World Cup for the first time," said Ford.

Germany were thumped by Samoa in a playoff for an automatic place at next year's World Cup in Japan.

They have another chance to qualify in the repechage competition in Marseille. They play Hong Kong on 11 November, Canada on 17 November and Kenya on 23 November.

"Of course it is a big challenge, but that is what makes this task so attractive," said Ford.

"I think that this national team has a lot of potential."
Mike Ford has a lot to do in order to beat Hong Kong and Canada... Kenya looked good at the Gold Cup.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://ragahouse.com/news/item/hong-kong-to-pick-repechage-squad-on-premiership-form

Hong Kong to pick repechage squad on premiership form

Hong Kong head coach Leigh Jones has vowed to select his side for November's repechage on HKRU Premiership form.

South China Morning Post reports that Jones is in the process of selecting his 30-man roster for a trip to France in November where the national squad will participate in a repechage tournament for the final spot at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hong Kong will meet Kenya Simbas, Germany and Canada in the four-team round robin tournament from Sunday, November 11.

The men’s premiership kicks off its second weekend of action this Saturday with Bloomberg HK Scottish playing Kowloon at SKM, and Sandy Bay playing Societe Generale Valley and the Tigers taking on Natixis, both at Kings Park.

Jones delivered a decisive statement in a recent Hong Kong Rugby Union press release, noting he expects some “high profile casualties” in naming his roster and that he will basically use the first five rounds of the premiership to select his squad.

He added any player who made the squad last season could be cut if they “can’t regain their form or work ethic from last season.”

“That’s the nature of professional rugby,” he added. “You can’t select players on potential or past performance, you have to go on form," as quoted by SCMP.

Only Hong Kong have appeared in the Repechage before, losing to Uruguay in the 2015 Qualifiers. On that occasion the format was two-round knock-out with Uruguay defeating Russia in a two-leg home-and-away final.
Hong Kong has changed so much… I don’t believe that they have that many ‘native’ rugby players anymore. Foreign legion… like Scotland :whistling:

They have been revamping their rugby since 2015, and since 2017 they have been playing a good game. However, they were still knocked by a 3rd-string, highly experimental, a Japanese team. I also don't know the Hong Kong selection base or their premiership rugby competition.

I still say this will be Canada's third chance and they will be going all out to take the repechage. Hong Kong hardly plays outside Asian territories, they are not used to travel but has a good chance. I actually hope that Kenya takes it...
 

Fulcrum29

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https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...ssed-so-far-with-japans-rwc-preparations.html

Rugby: All Blacks, Wallabies impressed so far with Japan's RWC preparations
The All Blacks and Wallabies set very high standards when it comes to their rugby, and judging by comments over the last two days, Japan's position as host of Rugby World Cup 2019 is getting an A grade as far as off-the-field preparations are concerned.

New Zealand hooker Codie Taylor said Monday he felt like royalty in the short time he had been in Tokyo, while Australia coach Michael Cheika said a day earlier that his side's opening game of the World Cup at the Sapporo Dome "will be an experience for players and fans alike, like none other."

...

"We are aware of the fact we are in Japan and that the World Cup is here next year," Taylor said.

"It's a great chance for us to come here and experience the culture, and hopefully we are all involved next year to really embrace ourselves amongst Japan and get involved in a great World Cup."

The All Blacks arrived over the weekend and will be in Japan for two weeks, taking on the Brave Blossoms at Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium a week after the Bledisloe game before they head to Europe to play England, Ireland and Italy.

...

However, by staying in the same hotels and using the same training grounds as they will next year at the World Cup, the players cannot hide from the fact that this week is slightly different, particularly given the first game is being played at a neutral venue.

"Having a test in another country adds a different element of excitement," Taylor said. "It gives us a chance to bring a huge test to Japan which is a real developing rugby nation."

And it also helps Taylor and his teammates get used to some of the cultural differences that exist.

"The people are amazing," he said. "You feel like a king when you walk around and the people are willing to do anything for you...They are so respectful over here...it's good to get a feel for how they do things."

"And the food is amazing. Hopefully we don't blow out in the next week or two," he added.

While Taylor was praising the Japanese people and food, Cheika marveled at the local ingenuity.

"I was really surprised by the venue," he told reporters after visiting the indoor venue that will play host to Australia and Fiji on Sept. 21, 2019.

Cheika marveled at the technology of the dome, which converts from a baseball stadium to one for rugby courtesy of a field that rolls from outdoors on wheels and air pressure through a sliding wall.

"You see it from the outside, but when you're in there, you're going to realize that that opening game for us is going to be a really special occasion because there's not many games of rugby that are played in stadiums like that, or inside a venue like that, at all."

"It's pretty outrageous."
I don’t understand why SARU didn’t do a preschedule game in Japan, we and Namibia will have a hard time to settle in come the RWC, most other rugby countries are acquainted with Japan.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://qz.com/1456499/rugby-world-cup-repechage-a-guide-to-the-teams/

The quixotic quest to make the rugby World Cup
The World Cup of rugby takes place next year in Japan and the race to take the final spot is here.

Starting next week in Marseille, France, the Repechage is a round-robin knockout tournament giving Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, or Kenya the chance to qualify for the biggest showcase in the sport. Only Canada has been to the World Cup before. Despite being favorites, a lot of the Canadians have been embroiled in an ugly pay dispute and there is the feeling that team is not at its best.

Hong Kong may be the smallest psuedo-nation out of the lot—the city is a special administrative region of China with a population of 7 million—but it is the highest ranked of the four teams in terms of world rugby. None of its players—who have been training in Wales for the past month—know what to expect. “It’s a bit of an unknown to be honest,” captain James Cunningham told the South China Morning Post. “From what I’ve heard, no one’s really experienced anything like this, a month of travel away, then three big games and what could come down to that last big game against Canada.”

Kenya—known by the their nickname of the Simbas—finished second in the African qualifiers and saw most of their planned warmup games fall apart. Kenya’s only one was against Romania, a 36-5 loss in Bucharest. “The preparation has been pretty minimal. But the boys are in good spirits, so we will see how we go,” said their coach in what might be one of the least inspiring team talks ever.

Perhaps the most interesting potential qualifier is the least favored. The German team is a group of part-timers who have been entirely bankrolled by Hans-Peter Wild, a billionaire whose family made their money from Capri Sun, the juice pouches. He created the Wild Academy and employed overseas players and coaches on his company payroll, also buying and selling a rugby club in the process. Without him, there would be no German rugby team.

After a row with the German federation that oversees rugby saw him pull his funding, Wild gave another €300,000 to see the team through the three matches of the Repechage in France this month. They used that money to hire Mike Ford, a former British and Irish Lions coach, as Germany’s new head coach. Ford has a huge challenge getting this team to the World Cup. Wild has promised €2 million a year to the Germany rugby authorities to bankroll the team if its qualifies— providing they can find other sponsors to match.
 
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