Road to RWC'11 begins
NZPA
April 4, 2008

The qualifying process for the 2011 World Cup kicks off this month at the unlikeliest of rugby venues - the Caribbean.

The Caribbean championship doubles as a World Cup qualifying event and begins when the host nation Cayman Islands play Trinidad and Tobago on April 20.

It will be exactly six months after the 2007 final between South Africa and England.

The six-day knock-out qualifying tournament will also feature Barbados, Bahamas, Bermuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Mexico.

The winners will progress to meet the winners of the South America division B championship involving Colombia or Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru.

Eight teams will ultimately fill the vacant berths in New Zealand and will be determined through the global regional qualifying system, which will be completed in 2010.

These teams will join the 12 who have already qualified from the last tournament -- South Africa, England, Argentina, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Fiji, Wales, Ireland, Tonga and Italy.

Europe and the Americas have been allocated two qualifying places, Africa, Asia and Oceania one place each, with the last place determined by a playoff.

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