Showdown may see Wales, Australia fight for 2019 qualifiers

The Fijian side huddle at the Swansea University grounds for a final tuneup before the match against Wales. Photo: Fiji Rugby

The Fijian side huddle at the Swansea University grounds for a final tuneup before the match against Wales. Photo: Fiji Rugby

The Pool A showdown will be more clear after the weekend; separating the two teams going to the quarterfinals, one winning a free passage to the 2019 competition while the fourth team with Uruguay fighting for qualifications.

The three Tier One nations with England on six points on the points table; and Wales and Australia with nine points apiece leading the charge for the final two places to get into the final eight.

If England defeats Australia on Saturday at Twickenham; then the hosts have a clear chance to make it on top of the pool with the five pointer of their last match against Uruguay a formality.

The Welsh celebrate the win against England. Photo: WalesOnline

The Welsh celebrate the win against England. Photo: WalesOnline

That puts England on 15 points; four from the Australian encounter plus the five from Uruguay while Australia having to defeat Wales in their match on Saturday week to get in for the second spot.

The worst scenario for England if it loses to the Wallabies and misses out on a bonus point then the hosts will close the competition with 11 points if they win the bonus point win against Uruguay.

Australia on the other hand will lead the fray into the knockout stage of the competition if they defeat England and Wales in the coming two Saturdays with a handy 17 points.

Wallaby Scott Fardy tries to get away from Fiji's Nemani Nadolo. Photo: SMH

Wallaby Scott Fardy tries to get away from Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo. Photo: SMH

The Wallabies worst case scenario is if it fails to win a bonus point and loses to both British nations going back home with nine points and having to be relegated to the qualifiers for the Japanese championship.

The same will apply for Wales if it wins both the matches against Fiji and Australia; it will be atop of Pool A and with a clear 17 points to make it out of the pool.

On the same token, losing both matches may see a traditional powerhouse of the competition and second in the current Rugby World rankings having to play the likes of Germany, Netherlands and Russia to fight for a place in the Japanese competition.

Fiji’s only chance of a free passage to the 2019 competition is to win both the Wales and Uruguay matches with bonus points to head home with 10 points and hoping that one of the current top three in the pool end up with two straight losses with no bonus point.

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