Portugal will play in the re-run of the World Rugby Championship after Spain (2nd place and direct qualifier) was penalized for the illegal use of South African-born Gavin van der Berg, a Spaniard.
An independent commission appointed by World Rugby, the world’s highest governing body in rugby, fined Spain 10 points for irregular player use in the World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands.
Van der Berg did not meet the eligibility requirements for the Spanish national team (family, residence in the new country for three consecutive years – or 10 years alternately). He has been playing in Spain since the 2018/19 season and has lingered during the pandemic in South Africa and exceeded the allowable period of absence (over 60 days). The passport is missing data, fortunately forged.
In the face of this decision, already confirmed by the Spanish Federation, Spain is finishing fourth in the 2023 European Championships in France and is out of competition. The national team, which is fourth in the competition, will rise to third place in the European qualifiers and enter the qualifiers. Romania will rise to one place and advance directly to the qualifiers