World Rugby has announced the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup in France aimed at promoting a “genuine opportunity” for all unions.

Twelve teams — South Africa, England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan,
France, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina and Fiji — have
already qualified by virtue of their top three finishes in their
respective pools at last year’s World Cup.

Seven of the eight remaining spots will be finalised via regional and
cross-regional qualifiers, while a four-team round-robin tournament
will determine the final qualifier.

“The process that has been developed via full consultation with our
regional associations and member unions will provide a genuine
opportunity for full member unions to qualify for our showcase men’s 15s
event,” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

The Americas and the Rugby Europe Championship will deliver two
direct qualifiers each, while Oceania and the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup will
deliver one apiece. A playoff between Oceania and Asia will determine
the final direct qualifier.

The third-best team in the Americas, the third-placed finisher in the
Rugby Europe Championship and the runner-up in the 2022 Rugby Africa
Cup will occupy three of the four spots in the final qualification
tournament.

The loser of the Asia-Oceania playoff will take up the final spot in the repechage tournament, scheduled for November 2022.

South Africa are the world champions, having beaten England 32-12 in last year’s final in Japan.

Reuters / RNZ

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