The eagerly-awaited Rugby Americas North Championship final between Mexico and Guyana, the opening round of the Sudamerica Rugby B Championship and the Rugby Europe Conference 2 North clash between Estonia and Hungary all double up as Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifiers on an exciting weekend of international rugby around the globe.
The Webb Ellis Cup will be on show in Lima, as Peru stages the latest edition of the Sudamerica Rugby B Championship, which runs from 2-8 October. The hosts are joined by defending champions Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
Hat-trick seeking Colombia, winners in 2014 and 2015, are the highest ranked of the competing nations in 48th, and they kick off their title defence with a game against Ecuador. No rankings points are stake in this match as Ecuador are not presently a member of World Rugby with only full member unions featuring in the rankings.
The other tie sees Venezuela (66) play Peru (70) in a game where the result will impact on the rankings. Win and Venezuela could climb by as many as three places above Israel, Botswana and Chinese Taipei into 63rd place. Lose, though, and the nations will trade places.
Mexico will attempt to go one better than last year and win the Rugby Americas North Championship title for the first time in their history. Las Serpientes, who lost out to Trinidad and Tobago in the 2015 final, come up against 2014 champions and three-time beaten finalists Guyana in Mexico City on Saturday.
The winner of the match will not only advance to the next stage of the RWC 2019 Americas qualification process - and a play-off against the winner of the Sudamerica Rugby B Championship - but also pick up valuable rating points.
A winning Guyana stand to gain 1.16 points and a jump of five places in the rankings to 42nd. A six-place rise is within their grasp if they win by more than 15 points.
Las Serpientes, ranked 55th, will break into the world’s top 50 for the first time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003, and become the higher-ranked of the two nations if they win the title, as defeat for Guyana would be accompanied by a fall of five places to 52nd.
Elsewhere, Estonia face Hungary for the first time in test rugby in Tallinn. Once again, the Rugby Europe Conference 2 North encounter counts towards the RWC 2019 qualification process, but does not carry any rankings points as Estonia are not currently a member of World Rugby.
The World Rugby Rankings update every Monday at 12:00 UK time.
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