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How it works: The World Cup

The World Cup starts in a week.  For the first four weeks of the event, 12 teams will be playing in Auckland and Whangarei, aiming to qualify for the quarter-finals on 29th and 30th October.

But how will teams qualify for those games?

The format for the World Cup will be very similar to that used in some 12-team sevens tournaments, but with teams receiving four points for a win, bonus points for four tries scored and a point for defeats by seven points or less.

If two or more teams in a pool are tied on competition points, the following tiebreakers apply (in order):

1. The winner of the match between the two teams
2. Difference between points scored for and points scored against in all pool matches
3. Difference between tries scored for and tries scored against in all pool matches
4. Points scored in all pool matches
5. Most tries scored in all pool matches
6. Official World Rugby Rankings

The three pool winners will be seeded 1, 2 and 3 for the quarter-finals, based on their performance in the pools. Teams will be ranked based on the most competition points scored, and if teams are tied on competition points by the same “tiebreakers” as used in the pools (as above).

The pool runners-up will be seeded 4, 5 and 6, and again will be ranked in the same way.

The two best of the three third place teams will also qualify for the quarter-finals, and be seeded 7 and 8, using the same ranking formula.

The quarter-final make-up will then be: (A) seed 1 v seed 8, (B) seed 2 v seed 7, (C) seed 3 v seed 6 and (D) seed 4 v seed 5.

The first two quarter-finals will be at the Northland Events Centre, Whangarei, on 29th October. If New Zealand qualify for the quarter-finals, regardless of their seeding, their match will be the second game on that day

The other two quarter-finals will be Waitakere Stadium, Auckland the following day.

The winner of quarter-final A will play the winner of quarter-final D, and the winner of B will play C. Both semi-finals will be at Eden Park, Auckland on 5th November.

The final will also be at Eden Park, Auckland on 12th November