Ireland became the eighth and final team to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup after a 36-6 defeat of Italy at Dunedin’s Otago Stadium on Sunday.
Ireland finished top of Pool C with 17 points and qualify with second-placed Australia (15 points) at the expense of Italy (10), USA (4) and Russia (1).
Other pool winners include host nation New Zealand, England and defending champions South Africa.
The finishing positions of the final eight teams and the quarter-finals draw means a northern Hemisphere team cannot meet a southern Hemisphere side until the final on Sunday, October 23.
2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS:
Saturday, October 8 –
IRELAND (winners Pool C) v Wales (runners-up Pool D), Wellington Regional Stadium, 6pm local time/6am Irish time
England (winners Pool B) v France (runners-up Pool A), Eden Park, Auckland, 8.30pm
Sunday, October 9 –
South Africa (winners Pool D) v Australia (runners-up Pool C), Wellington Regional Stadium, 6pm
New Zealand (winners Pool A) v Argentina (runners-up Pool B), Eden Park, Auckland, 8.30pm
Meanwhile, after the completion of the pool stages, it has been confirmed that Samoa will replace Fiji as an automatic qualifiers for the eighth edition of the Rugby World Cup to be held in England in 2015.
Fiji, who finished fourth in Pool D, will now have to go through regional qualifying to qualify for the 2015 tournament.
The Fijians finished with five points, well behind Pool D winners South Africa (18) and runners-up Wales (15) but ahead of the only team they defeated, Namibia, who finished with no tournament points.
The automatic qualifers for the 2015 Rugby World Cup by region are:
Americas: Argentina (runners-up Pool B)
Africa: South Africa (winners Pool D)
Europe: England (winners Pool B), France (runners-up Pool A), Ireland (winners Pool C), Italy (third in Pool C), Scotland (third in Pool B) and Wales (runners-up Pool D)
Oceania: Australia (runners-up Pool C), New Zealand (winners Pool A), Samoa (third in Pool D) and Tonga (third in Pool A)
Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.