Romania’s Under-20 national rugby team will no longer play in the world’s elite, despite managing to reach that stage by winning the Division B World Championship in Kenya, because the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced that it will reduce the number of participating teams from 16 to 12, the rugby.ro website informs.
The national team coached by Mircea Paraschiv managed to qualify for the world’s elite after defeating the US in the juniors’ Division B World Cup final in Kenya. The international body however announced that the format of U-20 competitions scheduled for 2010 in Argentina will be changed, with the number of teams dropping from 16 to 12.
‘The first 12 teams that have qualified for the World Cup in Japan, a tournament set to start on June 5, will qualify for the next tournament in Argentina, with the other four qualified teams set to play regional qualification games’ the International Rugby Board communiqué reads.
In this situation, Romania’s national team will play again in Division B next year. Nevertheless, the team would no longer have to qualify for Division B.
The future qualification system is not established yet, but it is most likely that the teams relegated from the world’s elite will have to play re-qualification tournaments against the teams coming out of Division B.