Two nations will book places at Rugby World Cup 2015 this weekend as crucial qualifying matches in Fiji and Madagascar take place.
Two nations will book places at Rugby World Cup 2015 this weekend as crucial qualifying matches in Fiji and Madagascar take place to decide Oceania 1 and Africa 1.
In the Oceania region, Fiji host the Cook Islands on Saturday 28 June in what is the proverbial 'David versus Goliath' fight for the right to play at RWC 2015 as Oceania 1.
The victor will join England, Australia, Wales and the Repechage winner in Pool A, and will have the honour of kicking off the tournament against the host nation at Twickenham on 18 September, 2015.
In Africa, rugby-mad Madagascar provides the setting for the continent's eagerly-anticipated qualifying tournament from 28 June – 6 July.
African title holders Kenya face Rugby World Cup veterans Namibia on the first match day, while Zimbabwe play the hosts Madagascar, who are likely to be cheered on by as many as 50,000 home fans in Antananarivo.
The winner of the round-robin format will travel to England next year as Africa 1 and join world champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The road to Rugby World Cup 2015 has delivered some unforgettable moments with more than 3000 players competing in over 200 matches for 83 nations. The Africa tournament is always highly-competitive and I am sure that fans will be treated to a wonderful occasion.”
Confederation Africaine de Rugby President Aziz Bouja said: “With Rugby World Cup 2015 on the horizon, we are delighted to be showcasing the passion, strength and growth of African Rugby to a global audience and look forward to what promises to be a compelling and competitive tournament. Whoever qualifies for England 2015 will do the African Region proud and inspire further participation growth.”