Tonga join Boks in World Cup pool B
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Tonga have advanced to next year’s Rugby World Cup in France after a 44-22 win over Hong Kong in the final of an Asia Pacific qualifying tournament.
Tonga led 20-8 at halftime after Sonatane Takulua scored two tries and added a third in the second half at the Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Tonga will play in Pool B in France with defending champions South Africa, No. 1-ranked Ireland, Scotland and Romania.
Hong Kong can still qualify for France via a second-chance tournament in Dubai in November.
A four-team tournament also involving the United States, Kenya and Portugal will determine the 20th team, with the winner joining Pool C with Australia, Wales, Georgia and Fiji.
QUALIFIED TEAMS FOR THE 2023 RUGBY WORLD CUP
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia
Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Romania, Tonga
Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Repechage winner
Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile