Rugby World Cup: Canada claim final spot for Japan
CANADA has become the 20th and final team to book a spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Canadians emerged victorious from a repechage series in France to maintain their proud record of having competed at all Rugby World Cups since the first tournament was held in 1987.
Canada takes the final spot in Pool B in RWC 2019 alongside defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia.
Captain Phil Mack said: “Now the hard work really starts and we’ve got to go to the World Cup and perform.
“We’re over the moon. Coming into the tournament we knew it was going to be tough, but with all the support from home and the work that has been put into this, it is awesome.
“We are going to enjoy this moment and then hit the afterburners and build to the World Cup.”
Canada is rated a 1000-1 chance to win the World Cup with bookmaker Sports Interaction. New Zealand are at $2.10 Ireland have firmed right up to $4.33 after their Six Nations heroics and convincing home win against the All Blacks recently.
Canada 27 d Hong Kong 10
Canada convincingly defeated Hong Kong 27-10 in Pierre-Delort Stadium in Marseilles in their third and final match of the repechage to advance with a perfect record after earlier wins over Kenya and Germany.
Canada opened their series with a resounding 65-19 win over the Kenyans, before beating surprise packets Germany 29-10.
Their all-time leading try-scorer DTH van der Merwe, who plays for the Glasgow Warriors, added another two tries against Hong Kong to go with his hat-trick from the first match.
It was a massive relief for the 21st-ranked Canadians to qualify as Rugby Canada desperately needs the funding provided to World Cup participants.
For previous World Cups they have qualified at the first attempt but this team they fell short in series against the 13th-ranked United States and 18th-ranked Uruguay.
Canada play their opening match of the 2019 World Cup against Italy on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.
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