Russia have qualified for the 2011 World Cup after their 21-all draw with Romania in the European Nations Cup last Saturday.
With two matches remaining in the competition, Russia have secured 21 points – two behind Georgia who have already qualified as well. Portugal (17) and Romania (14) trail behind in third and fourth place respectively.
Even if Russia lose their next two fixtures, they will still earn two losing points, which will see them finish on 23 points. Portugal and Romania can also reach the 23-point mark, but Russia will remain in second because of their superior head-to-head record against the two nations.
Georgia and Russia will face each other on 20 March, which will pose as the ENC decider.
Meanwhile, there are still two places left for the World Cup to be held in New Zealand.
The winner of the Asian Five Nations will automatically qualify into Pool A with New Zealand, France, Tonga and Canada.
Whoever finishes third in the ENC, will either face Lithuania or the winner of the ENC second division, on a home and away basis, for a intercontinental play-off.
The winning European side will have to beat Tunisia and the winner of Uruguay’s match against the Asian Five Nations runner-up. This will determine the 20th and final World Cup spot.
World Cup pools:
Pool A – New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Asia 1 (Asian Five Nations winner).
Pool B – Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe 1 (European Nations Cup winner), (20th place play-off winner).
Pool C – Australia, Ireland, Italy, USA, Europe 2 (European Nations Cup runner-up).
Pool D – South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Namibia.