Qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup for Oceania Rugby began in July 2021, where 3 teams competed for one direct qualification spot into the final tournament and for a place in a cross-regional play-off match.
|Dates||10 July 2021 – 24 July 2021|
|No. of nations||7|
Oceania Rugby was granted one direct qualification berth, and was awarded to the winner on aggregate of a Samoa–Tonga home and away play-off (Oceania 1). The loser then progressed to a straight play-off match against the winner of the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup to advance as Oceania 2 to a cross-regional play-off against Asia 1. All matches were held in New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions and rates in the region.
Seven teams had meant to compete during for the Oceania qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but later reduced to only 3 after the cancelation of the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup; teams World Rankings are prior to the first Oceania qualification match on 10 July while nations in bold denote teams that have previously played in a Rugby World Cup.
|Nation||Rank||Began play||Qualifying status|
|Australia||7||N/A||Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup|
|Cook Islands||53||24 July||Eliminated by Tonga on 24 July 2021|
|Fiji||11||N/A||Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup|
|New Zealand||2||N/A||Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup|
|Niue||98||N/A||Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation|
|Papua New Guinea||83||N/A||Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation|
|Samoa||14||10 July||Qualified as Oceania 1 on 17 July 2021|
|Solomon Islands||104||N/A||Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation|
|Tahiti||100||N/A||Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation|
|Tonga||13||10 July||Advances to Asia/Pacific play-off as Oceania 2 on 24 July 2021|
Round 1: 2021 Oceania Rugby CupEdit
Papua New Guinea were due to host the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup which was due to take place in June 2021. However, in April 2021, the participating unions agreed to cancel the tournament due to the rising impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. With the event's cancellation and the tight timeframe available to determine the region's champion, the World Rugby Rankings were used to confirm the team progressing in the Rugby World Rugby 2023 qualification process, and with the Cook Islands the highest-ranked team at the time, earned progression to Round 3.
|Advanced to Round 3|
|2||Papua New Guinea||83|
Round 2: Oceania 1 play-offsEdit
Round 2 consisted of a 2-leg play-off series between the highest-ranked participating teams in Oceania; Samoa and Tonga. This series was scheduled to be a home-and-away play-off series in Samoa and Tonga, but due to restrictions in the region, New Zealand became the hub for the qualification round.
The winner of this round, Samoa, qualified as Oceania 1, whilst the loser moved to round 3 to play the Cook Islands in an Oceania 2 play-off decider.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|10 July 2021|
16:30 NZST (UTC+12)
|Try: Niuia 46' c|
Motuga 50' m
Taefu 56' c
Fidow 63' c
Ili 78' c
Con: Taefu (3/4) 47', 57', 64'
Leuila (1/1) 79'
Pen: Taefu (3/3) 23', 36', 43'
|Try: Taulani 54' c|
Con: Takulua (1/1) 55'
Pen: Takulua (2/3) 17', 60'
|Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand|
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
- James Faiva was named to start but withdrew ahead of the game and was replaced by Nafi Tuitavake, who was replaced by Viliami Fine.
- Tomasi Alosio, Jonah Aoina, Neria Fomai, Theo McFarland, Olajuwon Noa, Samuel Slade, Jonathan Taumateine, Kalolo Tuiloma and Tietie Tuimauga (all Samoa) and Viliami Fine and Sam Vaka (both Tonga) made their international debuts.
|17 July 2021|
16:00 NZST (UTC+12)
|Try: Fonokalafi 51' c|
Tuipulotu 56' c
Con: Faiva (1/2) 52'
Pen: Faiva (1/1) 4'
|Try: Fidow 26' c|
Taumateine 38' c
Ili 73' c
Tuiloma 79' c
Con: Taefu (3/3) 27', 74', 80'
Iona (1/1) 39'
Pen: Taefu (3/3) 9', 13', 43'
|FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand|
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand) [a]
Round 3: Oceania 2 play-offEdit
The winner of this match, Tonga, advanced to a Asia/Oceania play-off match against Asia 1 (as Oceania 2), with the winner earning the right to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup as the Asia/Pacific play-off winner.
|24 July 2021|
17:35 NZST (UTC+12)
|Try: Fifita 18' c|
Vaka 24' c
Tuipulotu (2) 36' c, 55' c
Faiva 39' m
Takulua (2) 43' c, 48' c
Mahe 66' c
Con: Faiva (7/8) 20', 25', 37', 44', 49', 56', 68'
|Try: Tou 27' c|
Con: To. Sopoaga (1/1) 28'
Pen: To. Sopoaga (1/2) 10'
|Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe, New Zealand|
Referee: Graham Cooper (Australia)
- Tovo Faleafa, Kelemete Finau, Paula Mahe, Nela Matakaiongo, Semisi Paea and John Tapueluelu (all Tonga) and Jardine Pumati Chung-Ching, Leon Ellia-Niukore, Tahquinn Hansen, Leroy Henry-Jack, Gideon Kautai, Antonio Ripata, Te Puhi Rudolph, Ezekiel Sopoaga, Tokahirere Sopoaga, Tupou Sopoaga, Junior Taia, Materua Tupou, Ben Tou and Tevita Yamaraki (all Cook Islands) made their international debuts.
- rugbybworldcup.com. "QUALIFICATION PROCESS SET FOR RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023".
- A step closer to the Rugby World Cup
- "Cook Islands advance to 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifier after cancellation of Oceania Championships". Pacific Media Network. 30 April 2021. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021.
- World Rugby and unions confirm men’s July test schedule
- Swapped appointments with Brendon Pickerill (Australia v France) after travel restrictions changed between Australia and New Zealand and Williams was unable to travel to Australia.
- Rugby World Cup Official Site