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Monday, November 23, 2009

IRB launch World Cup 2010

The IRB today "launched" the 2010 World Cup, including a dedicated website (

All games up to the semi-finals will take place at the University of Surrey's new (indeed so new its still being built) Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. The semi-finals, third place game, and final will be at The Stoop.

Unexpectedly the IRB have decided on a far simpler and easier to follow format than any of their previous tournaments - for the first time all teams in each pool will play each other! Unfortunately this clarity only goes so far because, by insisting on a 12 team tournament, the IRB have painted themselves into a potentially complex corner when it comes to deciding who will qualify for the semi-finals.

The three pool winners and "best runner-up" will meet in the semi-finals on 1st September. It is not exactly clear how the "best runner-up" will be decided if (as is entirely possible) more than one team finishes on the same number of points - but the final round of pool games promise to be incredibly exciting, not to say wildly confusing!

In the semi-finals the best runner-up will then meet the pool winner with the best record. As a result it is quite possible that a semi-final may be a repeat of an earlier pool game. It is even possible that England and New Zealand could meet in a semi-final (though that is something that the organisers will be desperate to avoid!).

England open their campaign on 20th August against Ireland. They then play Kazakhstan on 24th, and finish against the USA on the 28th. New Zealand will play South Africa, Australia and Wales on the same dates. Full fixture information can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. That's the format IRB used in Africa's WRWC 7's qualifiers last year and the semifinals ended up being repeats of the pool games. A very strange format.


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