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Romania out of RWC 2019, Japan to play Russian Federation

Romania out of RWC 2019, Japan to play Russian Federation

Spain were docked a total of 40 points by the independent disputes committee while Romania and Belgium were both docked 30 points each in the tournament for fielding ineligible players during the tournament.

However, concerns were initially raised over the conduct of the Romanian referee Vlad Iordachescu's stewardship of Belgium's victory over Spain in the final match...

World Rugby emphasised in their release the rescheduled dates would enable the least-possible disruption for Samoa's European and Southern Hemisphere based players, who must be released under Regulation 9, which covers all Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

On the matter of the match between Spain and Belgium, World Rugby did state that: "the way in which Rugby Europe dealt with Spain's request for a change of match officials (in the build-up to the match) was not adequate".

Russian Federation had initially finished in third place in the qualification table, behind Romania and Spain, but advance in top spot while Germany, who were sitting in fifth and final place, move up to second and will face a playoff against Portugal - the victor of which will play Samoa.

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Romania had only one ineligible player, Sione Faka'osilea, who previously played for Tonga Sevens.

But instead of vilifying the Spaniards, the committee revealed that Spain, Belgium and Romania had all fielded ineligible players during qualifying matches for the World Cup.

"Rescheduling is necessary to maximise time following the conclusion of independent disputes committee review of matters relating to the 2017-18 Rugby Europe Championship, a competition run by Rugby Europe that doubles as Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification", the statement reads.

"There are some players for sure they are not available for these games but, as you know, we are having our Super 9 at the moment, our local tournament", he said. The unions have 14 days to appeal. "We have imposed financial sanctions which are to be suspended for five years".

"While the independent disputes committee has determined that mistakes were not made in bad faith by Rugby Europe and some participating unions, World Rugby is extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events, " World Rugby said in a statement. A final team will be added following a play-off, with the winners of Germany and Portugal facing Samoa later this summer. It also enables all qualifiers to be completed prior to the Repechage competition.