Viliame Mata Georgia looks to seal 3rd place in Pool D

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Georgia’s hopes of finishing third in Pool D and qualifying for the next Rugby World Cup have been significantly boosted, but still standing in the way is a Fiji team determined to bounce back from an unexpected loss.

Fiji started brightly in its opening game against Australia and led the Wallabies at halftime before losing. Then, Fiji was on the receiving end of one of the World Cup’s big upsets when it lost 30-27 to Uruguay, which went on to be soundly beaten 33-7 by Georgia.

It means that victory for Georgia against Fiji in Osaka on Thursday will all-but guarantee third place — likely behind Wales or two-time champion Australia — and a slot at the 2023 World Cup. It would be a perfect way for head coach Milton Haig to bid farewell after eight years in charge.

“You’d be fair in saying that if Georgia wins this game, we’ll qualify for the next World Cup,” Haig said. “Logistically, nobody else could catch us unless there are some huge, huge upsets. So we are confident that if we get this job done, we’ll have qualified. This is what we’ve worked hard for over the past three years. It’s come down to t

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