The winner of Kazakhstan v Colombia will face Scotland in the final qualifier on February 25
Women from Hong Kong and Samoa withdraw from Rugby World Cup final qualifier
Neither Hong Kong or Samoa women will realize their dreams of making it to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, after both teams withdrew from the latest qualifying tournaments in Dubai due to “insurmountable logistical challenges”.
The move means that only Kazakhstan, Colombia and Scotland are still chasing the event, which kicks off on October 8 and runs through November 12. Kazakhstan and Colombia now play a semi-final on February 19, with the winner facing Scotland in a final on February 25. The winner of that match will enter World Cup Group A, with New Zealand, Australia and Wales.
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Hong Kong was set to compete in the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship, which would serve as a feeder event for the 2021 Rugby World Cup final qualifying tournament. Samoa planned to go straight to those final qualifiers. However, Hong Kong’s lockdown restrictions and Samoa’s policy of enforcing a six-month return moratorium on anyone who tests positive outside their country contributed to both sides’ decision not to travel.
World Rugby chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “Our thoughts go out to the players and management who have worked tirelessly to prepare for this tournament and we would like to reassure them that all avenues have been explored to find a solution to this unique tournament. and challenging situation.
“The health and wellbeing of players, staff and spectators remains our number one priority as we continue to navigate the dynamic and complex nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the rugby unions of both Samoa and Hong Kong, it is paramount to take the appropriate measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in agreement with the relevant authorities, and this has affected our decision-making throughout the duration of the pandemic. supported so far.
“We remain committed to providing a safe final qualifying tournament for the remaining participating unions and will work closely with Hong Kong and Samoa to ensure the best possible 2022 campaign for their 15 women’s teams.”
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