RWC 2019 Qualifying
Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan will again feature 20 teams. Twelve teams qualified directly by virtue of finishing in the top three of their respective pools at RWC 2015 in England. They are champions New Zealand, hosts Japan, Argentina, Australia, England, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
The remaining eight places will be determined by a process of regional and cross-regional qualifiers.
This qualification process will begin on 5 March when St Vincent and the Grenadines host Jamaica in the Rugby Americas North Championship 2016, with the final qualifier to be known by November 2018.
RWC 2019 qualification principles
- One European qualifier: The highest-ranked team from the Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia) will qualify – Europe 1
- Two Oceania qualifiers: Two teams to qualify for RWC 2019 from a Pacific Nations Cup played on a home and away basis over June 2016 and 2017 – Oceania 1 and 2
- One Europe/Oceania play-off qualifier: The third place team from the Pacific Nations Cup will play a home and away play-off with the second-ranked team in the Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia) with the winner on aggregate qualifying for RWC 2019. The loser will qualify for the repechage tournament – Play-off 1
- Two Americas qualifiers: Canada and USA will play home and away with the winner on aggregate qualifying for RWC 2019. The loser will play home and away against the top-ranked South American team (excluding Argentina) with the winner on aggregate qualifying for RWC 2019. The loser of this match qualifies for the repechage tournament – Americas 1 and 2
- One African qualifier: The winner of the Rugby Africa Championship will qualify for RWC 2019. The runner-up qualifies for the repechage tournament – Africa 1
- Asia/Oceania play-off for repechage place: The highest-ranked team from the Asia Rugby Championship (excluding Japan) will play home and away against the winner of the Oceania Cup with the winner on aggregate qualifying for the repechage tournament
- One repechage qualifier: The repechage tournament will feature four teams playing in a round-robin format with the winners qualifying for RWC 2019 – Repechage tournament