Romania, Spain appeal to World Rugby over RWC 2019 sanction

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Rugby test match between Japan and Romania at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan

Rugby test match between Japan and Romania at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan (Photo: Photosport)

DUBLIN (AP) — Romania and Spain have appealed against World Rugby's decision to take points off them for fielding ineligible players in a qualifying competition for the 2019 World Cup, which cost them a place in next year's tournament in Japan.

The points deductions meant Romania was disqualified from the World Cup and replaced by Russia, while Spain's place in a qualifying playoff against Portugal on June 9 went to Germany.

An investigation set up by World Rugby found Romania, Belgium and Spain fielded ineligible players in seven to nine games in the second-tier Rugby Europe Championship, which also acted as qualifying for the World Cup.

Rugby test match between Japan and Romania at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan
Rugby test match between Japan and Romania at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan

World Rugby said Tuesday that Romania is appealing against the sanction handed down by the governing body despite admitting to a breach of regulations. Spain is appealing against the decision that found two ineligible players were fielded during qualifying.

The appeal will be heard on June 1.

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