Romania will be one of Ireland’s pool opponents for the second successive Rugby World Cup tournament after the Oaks qualified for Japan 2019 over the weekend. Joe Schmidt’s men will play Romania in their penultimate Pool A match in Kobe on Thursday, October 3, 2019 (kick-off 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time).
Romania’s ever-present record at the Rugby World Cup is assured after Spain’s shock 18-10 defeat to Belgium in Brussels on Sunday cost los Leones the chance to leapfrog them in the European qualification standings.
As the highest ranked team other than Georgia over the last two seasons of the Rugby Europe Championship, Romania qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 as Europe 1 and can now look forward to games against Grand Slam champions Ireland, Scotland, World Cup hosts Japan and the yet to be determined Play-Off winners in Pool A.
Reward also comes in the form of playing Japan in the opening match of the tournament at the Toyota Stadium in Tokyo on Friday, September 20.
Ireland have played Romania on nine previous occasions at Test level, including pool matches at the 1999, 2003 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. Their most recent meeting saw a RWC record attendance of 89,267 watch Joe Schmidt’s charges run out six-try 44-10 winners over the Oaks at Wembley Stadium.
A win in their final qualifier would have seen Spain wipe out the three-point lead Romania enjoyed going into the final weekend of the Rugby Europe Championship, but they succumbed to the nerves of the occasion and must now rely on alternative routes to make it to Japan 2019.
Despite the loss, Spain are confirmed as the second-placed team in European qualification and will play Iberian neighbours Portugal for the right to face Samoa in home-and-away fixtures for the vacant Play-Off winners spot. The losers will participate in the four-team repechage in November against Canada and two other teams.
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IRELAND’S 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL A MATCH SCHEDULE:
Sunday, September 22 –
IRELAND v Scotland, International Stadium, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, 4.45pm local time/8.45am Irish time
Saturday, September 28 –
Japan v IRELAND, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka Prefecture, 4.15pm local time/8.15am Irish time
Thursday, October 3 –
IRELAND v Romania, Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe, 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time
Saturday, October 12 –
IRELAND v Play-Off Winners, Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, 7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time
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