Russian Federation qualify after Spain, Belgium and Romania sanctioned

Spain's controversial defeat by Belgium in March originally meant Romania advanced to the World Cup

"The deduction of five points for any match in which a union fielded an ineligible player (40-point deduction for Spain, and a 30-point deduction for both Belgium and Romania)", confirmed World Rugby, while Germany - who finished pointless after losing all of their matches - will now face Portugal in a play-off.

"Participation in the World Cup must not be concluded by such a decision". Victory for Spain would have given them an automatic place in the World Cup in Japan next year, but Belgium won 18-10 in Brussels to send Romania through instead.

"World Rugby is committed to addressing these issues and will lead a review of European tournament delivery in the context of Rugby World Cup qualifying in full partnership with Rugby Europe".

World Rugby ordered a replay because it said although the Romanian match officials weren't biased, they gave the appearance of bias.

Russian Federation will join Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the play-off victor in Pool A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after the independent disputes committee appointed by World Rugby docked Belgium, Romania and Spain points for fielding ineligible players during the controversial Rugby Europe competition. The committee found that five players, who between them had played in six matches that counted towards qualification, were ineligible because neither they, nor their parents or grandparents had been born in Belgium.

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All the decisions are subject to appeal within 14 days and Tuesday's announcement is unlikely to be the final word. "We have imposed financial sanctions which are to be suspended for five years".

In reference to the entire investigation, the committee added: "Although mistakes were made by Rugby Europe and participating unions, they had not acted in bad faith". Romania were docked 100,000 pounds while Spain were hit for 50,000 pounds.

"Whatever the outcome of the Europe program is still alright with us because that was our first priority, we want to qualify for the World Cup, he said". The victor will play Samoa in a World Cup play-off for the right to join Ireland's Pool A at Japan 2019. The loser of that clash will go into the final repechage competition for the chance to qualify for the World Cup.

World Rugby also said Regulation 9, which deals with the release of players from their club teams to play test matches, will apply for the rescheduled games to ensure the least-possible disruption for the Pacific islanders, many of whom play their trade in Europe.

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