March 18, 2021 – Today, Rugby Americas North’s Executive Committee (EXCO), in conjunction with World Rugby, provided an update regarding regional qualification for Rugby World Cup 2023 (RWC) in France.
Due to the inability to host international matches during the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15-a-side competition involving Mexico and Caribbean nations that traditionally acts as the initial phase of qualification in our region will not take place in this four-year cycle. Therefore, USA and Canada will automatically represent RAN in the next stages of qualification for RWC 2023.
“Over the last year we have held extensive discussions with World Rugby, Rugby Americas and our member unions in the hopes of building a realistic and practical pathway for Mexico and the Caribbean nations to play against each other on the road to France 2023,” said Miguel Carner, RAN EXCO President.
“However, international travel bans and regional restrictions regarding local competition throughout our region have made it impossible to find a workable solution under the tight timeframe required to put forward our qualified nations to compete for the Americas 1 and Americas 2 positions,” added Carner.
In previous RWC cycles, the annual RAN 15-a-side competition – featuring Unions from the Caribbean and Mexico – has been utilised as the regions first round RWC qualifier, for all Unions that are Full Members of World Rugby.
“We understand this news is disappointing for players, coaches and teams throughout our region that have worked hard over the last four years and dream of one day competing on rugby’s greatest stage,” said Carner.
“Moving forward RAN will be looking at ways in the near future to help unions develop further in the 15-a-side game, with hopefully more meaningful competition with an eye towards 2027,” added Carner.
Dates and details for the qualification rounds between USA and Canada are still to be determined and information will be made public over the coming months.
Ranked 16th and 22nd respectively, USA and Canada both featured at the most recent RWC in Japan in 2019. The 10th edition of the RWC kicks off on September 8th with hosts France taking on New Zealand in Paris.
All information regarding the tournament, including qualification, fixtures, tickets and more, can be found at: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com