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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 20 February, 2018

Samoa could join Ireland in Rugby World Cup pool as Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup

Samoa will now face a European team in a qualification play-off.

Image: Parspix/ABACA

IRELAND COULD BE joined by Samoa in their pool for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Samoa went into their final game at the Pacific Nations Cup against Fiji knowing that a bonus point in defeat would seal their place at the tournament in Japan in two years’ time.

But Fiji, who have already qualified for the World Cup, denied them anything as they ran in five tries in 38-16 win and, in the process, handed Tonga qualification.

As the Oceania 1 qualifier, Fiji will be in Pool D against Australia, Wales, Georgia and the Americas 2 qualifier, while Tonga will have to take their chance against England, France, Argentina and the United States in Pool C – the ‘pool of death’.

Samoa still have two more chances to qualify for the World Cup. This morning’s result means they will now face a European team to determine in a play-off for a place in Pool A, where they will join Ireland, Scotland, Japan and a qualifier from the European Nations Cup.

They will face wither either Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-place team in the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia, who have already qualified).

The loser of that game will play in a four-team repechage tournament to determine the final place in Pool B.

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