South American road to RWC 2015 to begin
The South American leg of qualification towards Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off in Valencia, Venezuela, on September 9 as momentum continues to build for the next edition of the Game’s pinnacle tournament.
With three years still to go before the top 20 teams in the world do battle to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, four of the Game’s emerging nations – Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru – will begin their journey towards realising the dream of competing against the very best in front of a global audience of billions at RWC 2015.
The route towards qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015, which got underway in Mexico City in March, follows the successful system employed for the 2011 tournament. It is a clear, results-based pathway that utilises existing tournament structures across all six IRB Regional Associations that ensures the best 20 national teams are the ones who thrill us all on Rugby’s biggest stage.
It also means that every country, no matter where it sits on the IRB World Rankings, has the opportunity to break through to that level. In all, 80 Unions will start a process towards representation in England.
With North America/Caribbean, Africa and Asia already having started their processes, now it is the turn of the South American region (CONSUR) to get in on the act. Present at the first match will be IRB Council Member and President of CONSUR Carlos Barbieri, who will be the bearer of another very important guest, the Webb Ellis Cup, the ultimate prize in Rugby.
Barbieri said: “The excitement ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England is already building. It is great that teams across all regions, including South America, have the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s great sporting events.
“Rugby continues to go from strength to strength and global participation levels have grown by 18 per cent since Rugby World Cup 2007, driven by the commercial success of Rugby World Cup. The IRB is committed to growing the Game beyond its traditional heartlands into new Rugby markets and to increasing global participation rates even further.
“It is so important that teams are provided with a pathway towards the top so that all ambitious Unions – no matter how competitive they are today – possess a clear understanding of what needs to happen to get there. In international Rugby, that pathway is clearly set out and the proof is here in Venezuela as these four teams dream of running out in England against the best teams in the world,” he said.
The winner of the CONSUR B tournament will progress to a play-off against Caribbean champions Bermuda on 29 September, hosted by the Union with the highest IRB World Ranking.