RWC 2015 Americas 2 play-off dates announced
The International Rugby Board has confirmed the dates for the decisive Rugby World Cup 2015 Americas 2 qualifier play-off between the USA and Uruguay.
In a mouth-watering home and away contest, Uruguay will host the first match on Saturday, March 22, with the return leg set for the United States on March 29.
The winner of the series on aggregate will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and will take their place in Pool B alongside South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and the Asia 1 qualifier. For the loser, all will not be lost as they will have a final opportunity to qualify via the Repechage process.
The winner will become the second team from the Americas to qualify for England 2015, following Canada, who confirmed their place earlier in the year. Argentina directly qualified courtesy of their quarter-final place at New Zealand 2011.
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification has been exciting and compelling with all teams united in their cause to secure a place on Rugby's greatest stage."
"The Eagles have the opportunity to put the disappointment of that defeat behind them and become the second team to book their place. But in the way stands a tough Uruguay side who will be determined to join Argentina as the representatives from South America at the world's top Rugby tournament."
"The growth of Rugby in the Americas and around the world is testament to IRB's commitment to grow the Game beyond its traditional heartlands and the excellent work of the Member Unions themselves in conjunction with the regional associations."
"Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport, and through the global qualification process there is a clear pathway and opportunity for every IRB Member Union to play at that level."
Nigel Melville, Chief Executive Officer of USA Rugby, added: "It is the highlight of every player to represent their country at a Rugby World Cup and our players know they are just two games away from qualifying for England 2015. These are therefore very important games."
Venue and kick-off details for both playoff matches will be announced in due course.
The global process kicked off last year with Mexico playing host to Jamaica. By its completion, more than 3,000 players from 83 Unions across every continent will have participated in more than 200 matches that comprise Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifying.