26 Sep 2014

Russia and Uruguay fight for Rugby World Cup

5:44 am on 26 September 2014

With 19 teams already confirmed, Russia and Uruguay could be just 160 minutes away from securing the final place at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

Alexander Gudok of Russia crosses the line to score against Samoa.

Alexander Gudok of Russia crosses the line to score against Samoa. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The first half of the two-leg encounter will take place in the southern Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk on Sunday as the Bears entertain an emerging South American team keen to emulate the teams of 1999 and 2003 and represent their country on the highest stage of all.

The Webb Ellis Cup will be in Krasnoyarsk for the match, the first time the iconic trophy has been to this hotbed of Russian Rugby.

Rugby fans and members of the public will have an opportunity to see the cup and have their photo taken with it.

The second leg will take place two weeks later in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "It has been nearly three years since the qualification process got underway with a match between Mexico and Jamaica."

"Now, after more than 200 matches involving 83 teams and around 3,000 players, we are down the final two nations. Only one can make it to England."

For the winners, a place in Pool A awaits, perhaps the toughest group of all.

There they will meet 1991 and 1999 champions Australia, 2003 winners and hosts England, two-time semi-finalists Wales and previous quarter-finalists Fiji.