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Wales’ final World Cup opponent to be decided at Dubai tournament

04 Nov 2022 2 minute read
Justin Tipuric. Photo David Davies PA ImAges

The final team to play Wales at next year’s Rugby World Cup will be decided at a tournament in Dubai.

USA, Portugal, Hong Kong and Kenya will meet in the four-team tournament from this Sunday until November 18th.

The USA, who have competed at eight of the previous nine World Cups, will be the favourites to snag the last qualification place, ranked 19th in the world compared with 20th, 22nd, and 33rd respectively.

The team that tops the table following the round-robin tournament will be in Pool C at next year’s World Cup with Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Wales. It is the final spot at the World Cup to be decided in advance of the tournament in France starting on 8 September next year.

It will be the USA’s third attempt at qualification after being beaten by Uruguay in their first attempt in the Americas playoff. They were then upset by lower-ranked Chile who beat them by a single point on aggregate over two matches.

Portugal have competed at one previous World Cup in 2007. They only qualified for the Dubai tournament after finishing third in the Rugby Europe Championship after Spain were docked points for fielding an ineligible player in the competition.

Hong Kong will participate after losing to Tonga in a qualifying playoff tie in Australia in July. Kenya will be there by dint of coming second to Namibia at the Africa Cup.

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