Rugby World Cup 2011
Georgia seal top spot in ENC
March 20, 2010
Georgia celebrate their 29-21 European Nations Cup victory over Russia, Mariupol, Ukraine, March, 22, 2009
Georgia have booked their place at the Rugby World Cup © Associated Press

Georgia have been confirmed in the same 2011 Rugby World Cup group as England, Scotland and Argentina after beating Russia 36-8 to retain the European Nations Cup title.

Russia, who will be playing in their first World Cup, join Ireland, Australia, Italy and the United States in Pool C.

Both sides had already booked their places in New Zealand after strong campaigns but there was plenty to play for on neutral ground at the 6,000-seater Ak├žabaat Fatih Stadium in Turkey.

Georgia prevailed to finish their season on 27 points and secure safe passage but the battle is still on for both Romania and Portugal. Romania struck a blow in the race for third and a play-off spot by seeing off Portugal, who were present at the 2007 World Cup, 20-9 at the Estadio Universitario de Lisboa.

Romania are now a point behind Portugal with a rearranged fixture against Spain still to come. Even defeat for Romania will see them finish ahead of the Portuguese, with a loss worth a point in the ENC.

Romania now await the two-leg play-off against the winner of the ENC play-off match between Division 3A winners Lithuania and their Division 2A counterparts Ukraine. The winner of that game will represent Europe in the cross-continental play-off which will determine the 20th and final qualifier for RWC 2011.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Asia 1 (Asian Five Nations winner)
Pool B: Argentina, England, Scotland, Georgia, Play-Off winner
Pool C: Australia, Ireland, Italy, USA, Russia
Pool D: South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Namibia


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