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Rugby World Cup permutations: Which teams can qualify for quarter-finals?

The tournament will conclude with the final at the Stade de France on Saturday 28 October

Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 08 October 2023 14:06 BST
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Japan trumps Samoa again to stay in Rugby World Cup quarterfinals hunt

The Rugby World Cup is hotting up as teams seek to secure their places in the quarter-finals.

The top two nations from each of the four pools will progress to the last eight, with the quarter-finals to be played on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October in Marseille and Paris.

In the event of a two-way tie, the nation that won the encounter between the two teams will progress; in the event of a three-way tie, the nation that finishes with the best points difference will finish on top, followed by the team that won the fixture between the two remaining teams.

Teams receive four points for a win, with a bonus point available for scoring four tries or more. A losing bonus point is received if you finish within seven points of your opponents; a draw is worth two points.

The third spot in each pool is crucial, too – while this will not allow teams further involvement at this year’s World Cup, it will secure automatic qualification for the next tournament in Australia in 2027.

Here’s how each pool currently looks, the remaining fixtures to be played and the permutations for quarter-final qualification.

Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

Saturday 14 October

4pm BST: Wales vs Argentina

8pm BST: Ireland vs New Zealand

Sunday 15 October

4pm BST: England vs Runner-up Pool C

8pm BST: France vs South Africa

Pool A

Team

Played

Wins

Draws

Losses

Points

Points difference

1. France (Q)

4

4

0

0

18

+178

2. New Zealand (Q)

4

3

0

1

15

+206

3. Italy

4

2

0

2

10

-67

4. Uruguay

4

1

0

3

5

-99

5. Namibia

4

0

0

4

0

-218

France punched their ticket for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals by crushing Italy 60-7 on Friday.

Fabien Galthie’s team won all their group games and will face defending champions South Africa on October 15.

New Zealand, who demolished Uruguay 73-0 on Thursday, finished second in Pool A on 15 points, three behind France.

Pool B

Team

Played

Wins

Draws

Losses

Points

Points difference

1. Ireland (Q)

4

4

0

0

19

+144

2. South Africa (Q)

4

3

0

1

15

+117

3. Scotland

4

2

0

2

10

+75

4. Tonga

3

0

0

3

0

-102

5. Romania

3

0

0

3

0

-234

Remaining fixtures

Tonga vs Romania, 8 October, Lille

Ireland’s ruthless mauling of Scotland in Paris means Andy Farrell’s side go through as group winners, with South Africa taking second place.

Scotland could have progressed with a victory, but that never looked likely as Gregor Townsend’s team were thoroughly outclassed at the Stade de France.

Ireland now play New Zealand in the quarter-finals, with the defending champions Springboks facing the hosts France - in two mouthwatering ties.

Pool C

Team

Played

Wins

Draws

Losses

Points

Points Difference

1. Wales (Q)

4

4

0

0

19

+84

2. Australia

4

2

0

2

11

-1

3. Fiji

3

2

0

1

10

+6

4. Georgia

3

0

1

3

3

-49

5. Portugal

3

0

1

2

2

-40

Remaining fixtures

Fiji vs Portugal, 8 October, Toulouse

Wales were the first team to secure their spot in the last eight with victory over Australia, and booked top spot in the pool with a 43-19 win against Georgia.

Fiji will join them if they take even a single point from their final game against Portugal due to their head-to-head win over the Wallabies, whose last hope is a Portugal upset in which Fiji fail to either score four tries or remain within seven points.

Pool D

Team

Played

Wins

Draws

Losses

Points

Points difference

1. England (Q)

4

4

0

0

18

+111

2. Argentina

4

3

0

1

14

+58

3. Japan

4

2

0

2

9

+2

4. Samoa

4

1

0

3

7

+17

5. Chile

4

0

0

4

0

-188

Remaining fixtures

England are through as pool winners, and are joined b Argentina in the last eight.

The Pumas outlasted Japan in a thrilling winner-takes-all final pool fixture with Japan, as Mateo Carreras’s hat-trick set up a quarter-final meeting with Wales.

Samoa are out following Saturday’s 18-17 defeat to England.

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