17 Jul Scots could face Samoa in second successive RWC
Scotland could face Samoa in a second successive Rugby World Cup after the Pacific Islanders were forced into the Play-Off contention spot for a place in Pool A of the 2019 edition in Japan.
Rivals Tonga qualified for RWC 2019 after finishing second to Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) after Samoa failed to secure a bonus-point in their 38-16 defeat to Fiji in the final match in Apia on Saturday.
Samoa now face the prospect of a play-off against the winner of Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-place team in the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia, who have already qualified) for a place in Pool A at Japan 2019.
The outcome of the PNC puts Scotland one place closer to knowing their full group, with Ireland and hosts Japan already confirmed, and‘Europe 1′ and the cross-continental ‘Play-Off Winner’ outlined above still to be confirmed.
Scotland will, of course, have the chance to size up their prospective opponents this November when they open the autumn test series against the Pacific Islanders at BT Murrayfield (Saturday 11 November).
The test will be the first rematch of the nations’ Rugby World Cup 2015 pool-progression decider at St James’ Park in Newcastle, when captain Greig Laidlaw scored to secure the victory in the thrilling, eight-try encounter (36-33).
The Scotland team is already on course to play in front of two sell-out autumn tests crowds for the first time in history.
The New Zealand game became the fastest-selling autumn test ever, and now tickets for the game against Australia the following week (Saturday 25 November, kick-off 2.30pm) are down to single seats only.
The opening game – Scotland v Samoa on Saturday 11 November – is Gregor Townsend’s first home game in charge and boasts a great “Kids for £1” offer, where U12s can come along for £1 when accompanied by an adult buying a Bronze/Silver ticket (£15)!
Rugby World Cup 2019:
Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner
Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repachage winner
Pools C: England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Americas 2