Tahiti’s 13-9 win over Cook Islands in a Rugby World Cup qualifier has been overturned because Tahiti used two ineligible players, meaning Cook Islands will proceed to the next round of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Japan.
World Rugby said in a statement Friday that following a request from the Cook Islands Rugby Union, it investigated claims that the Tahiti Rugby Union had used the ineligible players during the match in Rarotonga on Aug. 4, 2017.
It said independent judicial officer Tim Gresson of New Zealand determined that the Tahiti Rugby Union had breached regulations because both players had no family ties to Tahiti or had fulfilled three-year residency requirements to make them eligible to play.
With Cook Islands declared the winner, they will now play the winner of the Asia Rugby Championship in the Cook Islands on June 30, and the return leg on July 7.
Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong will play in the Asia Rugby Championship, a four-match round-robin tournament ending in early June.