The make-up of Ireland’s pool for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England will be finalised shortly. The one outstanding place – the Europe 2 qualifiers – will be filled by either Georgia or Romania.
Georgia and Romania have secured their places at the 2015 Rugby World Cup following victories in the FIRA-AER European Nations Cup Division 1A this weekend.
Georgia defeated Russia 36-10 in front of a massive crowd in Tbilisi, where IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset was also present.
Romania beat fourth-placed Spain 32-6. Russia’s hopes now pin on finishing third in the ENC and therefore a place in the play-off process.
The two teams now have an unassailable lead in the competition which doubles as the region’s qualifying process for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and now set their sights on securing the prestigious Europe 1 place at England 2015.
The team that finishes top of the ENC table will take the Europe 1 place in Pool C alongside champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and the Africa 1 qualifiers.
The runners-up will join Pool D as Europe 2 where they will face France, Ireland, Italy and Canada.
The two teams meet on Saturday, March 15 in Tbilisi when, barring any slip-ups in the meantime, Europe 1 and 2 will be determined.
Lapasset said: “The European process has been a highlight of the Rugby World Cup qualification process, delivering some incredibly competitive and compelling matches.
“On behalf of the IRB I would like to congratulate both Georgia and Romania for booking their places at England 2015 where they will showcase the best of European international rugby.
“The scene is now set for a fascinating contest in Tbilisi where the coveted Europe 1 place looks to be decided.”
The IRB will be providing a live stream of the decisive match in Tbilisi via www.rugbyworldcup.com.
Ireland have played Georgia three times before at Test level, winning all three games including a hard-fought 14-10 victory in the pool stages of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
Ireland have also faced Romania previously in Rugby World Cup fare, claiming a 44-14 win in a 1999 pool fixture and beating them 45-17 in Australia four years later.
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