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Spain beat Portugal to qualify for World Cup

NEWS: Spain beat Portugal 33-28 in Madrid on Sunday to become the 16th team to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.


The victory means they are assured of second place in the group.

Georgia, who had already booked their place in France, top the pool.

The pair will meet in Tbilisi next week to decide the winners of the Rugby Europe champions.

“It’s been a long journey and a very tough qualification process,” coach Santiago Santos told World Rugby.

“We lost our first three games and after that, we have won six in a row.

“The performance of the team was amazing and we are very excited to be going to the World Cup.”


In the 20-nation World Cup in France next year, Spain will be in Pool B with holders South Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a team from the ongoing Asia/Pacific qualifiers.

Spain’s only previous appearance at the World Cup was in 1999 when they were also in a pool with South Africa and Scotland as well as Uruguay.

They lost all three matches, scoring 18 points and conceding 122.

In the run-up to the last World Cup, Spain were eliminated after an acrimonious and convoluted dispute.


After the Spaniards lost to Belgium, they complained over the choice of a referee from their main rival for the solitary qualifying berth, Romania, for the match.

World Rugby investigated and concluded that it did not matter as all three teams had fielded ineligible players and disqualified them all.

Russia, who finished third in the group, were also investigated but cleared of cheating and took the qualifying berth.

This time, Russia again qualified for the final European qualifying tournament, but were banned before it started.


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