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Georgia grouped with All Blacks at RWC

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Update: 6:19PM Georgia's reward for beating east European rivals Romania 22-9 on Saturday was to be drawn in Group C of the 2015 Rugby World Cup with title holders New Zealand.

The Romanians will go into Group D alongside France, who lost to the All Blacks in the 2011 final.

The result ensured Georgia won top spot in the FIRA-AER European Nations Cup Division 1A.

Both teams went into the game in Tbilisi, attended by a capacity crowd of 27,000 at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, already safe in the knowledge that their participation at the September 18-October 31, 2015, Rugby World Cup in England was guaranteed.

Georgia led 16-9 at half-time thanks to a try by Clermont prop Davit Zirakashvili, with all other points coming from the trusty boot of full-back Merab Kvirikashvili, and now go into their fourth consecutive World Cup, having notched up two wins in 12 matches.

Aside from the All Blacks, whom Georgia will face on October 2 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, Group C will also include Argentina, Tonga and an African qualifier.

The Romanians have taken part in every World Cup since its inception in 1987 and they will be pooled with France, Ireland, Italy and Canada.

Russia finished third in the European Nations Cup and will have a chance of making the World Cup through play-offs.

There remain five places to play for.

The African qualifier will be known by July 5 after a tournament between Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Kenya and Namibia.

Uruguay and the United States play home-and-away fixtures on March 22 and 29 for the American qualifying spot.

In Asia, Japan are favourites to win the April 26-May 25 Asian Five Nations tournament as top qualifier.

In Oceania, Fiji play the Cook Islands on June 28 to guarantee a berth in England.

Two play-off rounds will then be contested for the last remaining place at a date to be decided.

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