World Rugby has announced that the Stade Delort in Marseille, France will host the Rugby World Cup 2019 Repechage tournament.
Four teams will compete in the round-robin format event to be played across three match days on November 11, 17, and 23, 2018.
The Repechage tournament is a new concept for Rugby World Cup qualification and represents the last opportunity for a team to qualify for Japan 2019, with four nations fighting it out to secure the 20th and final place at the Rugby World Cup.
Last weekend, Hong Kong confirmed their place in the Repechage with a convincing 77-3 aggregate victory over the Cook Islands. They join Canada who were confirmed in the Repechage in February, following their defeat to Uruguay in America’s play-off over two legs.
The third team will be decided when Germany face Samoa in Heidelberg on Saturday, July 14 (kick-off: 16:00 local time).
The winner will qualify automatically for the Rugby World Cup while the loser will join the Repechage. Samoa head into the game in a strong position for automatic qualification, following their 66-15 victory in the first-leg of the play-off in Apia.
The line-up will be completed on August 18 when the Rugby Africa Gold Cup comes to a conclusion with the champions qualifying directly for Japan 2019, and the runners-up entering the Repechage.
The winner of the Repechage will enter into group B at the Rugby World Cup alongside reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Africa 1.
The Stade Delort in Marseille is a 5,000-capacity venue which has previously hosted rugby and major sports events in France’s second largest city in the Provence region.
The announcement follows hot on the heels of the French Rugby Federation’s successful hosting of the record-breaking Under 20 Championships across three venues in southern France last month and comes ahead of France’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2023.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The Repechage tournament is going to be a very hotly contested event with the ultimate prize of a place at the Rugby World Cup at stake.
Marseille can look forward to three matchdays of thrilling rugby between nations from four different continents.
“Following the outstanding success of the recent World Rugby U20 Championship in southern France, we are delighted to partner with the French Rugby Federation again to deliver this important tournament as France continues to advance its preparations for hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.”
French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte said: “I am delighted that France will be hosting the Repechage tournament for the Rugby World Cup 2019.
It’s a very important event as four teams will compete in Marseille to get the last seat for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“By hosting this tournament, FFR reinforces its commitment to help develop rugby worldwide.
It’s also a pretty glimpse to the Rugby World Cup France2023. I wish to thank the SMUC Rugby which partners with FFR to ensure the success of such an event.”
Demand for tickets to the Rugby World Cup in Japan has been phenomenal with over 2.5 million ticket applications in the initial sales phases.
The next opportunity to secure tickets begins on September 19 with the opening of the General Ticket Sales Ballot open to the general public.