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Mexico & Jamaica kick off 2015 Rugby World Cup


Craig Joubert refereed the Rugby World Cup final in 2011

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Article Published: Monday 26 March 2012


Mexico kicked off the qualification process for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England with a crushing 68-14 win over regional rivals Jamaica in Mexico City.

A record crowd for a rugby match in Mexico of more than 2,000 saw the hosts dominate a clash refereed by South Africa's Craig Joubert -- the man in the middle for last year's World Cup final between New Zealand and France -- and one where the Webb Ellis Trophy itself was on display.

Mexico captain and scrum-half Juan Pablo Andre, who scored one of his side's nine tries in Saturday's match, which also doubled as the opener in the North American Caribbean Rugby Association regional championship, said in an International Rugby Board statement: "It was hard work out there today, but I am very happy for the team and for Mexico rugby.

"It was a quick, physical match and we played some good rugby. We can now look forward to playing Cayman Islands in the next match."

Jamaica captain Carlyle Burger said: "Full respect to Mexico, they deserved to beat us, but we go back to Jamaica with our heads held high and the dream is definitely not over."

Over the next three years, 80 nations from all continents will compete in 184 matches as they bid to claim one of the eight qualification places on offer for the 2015 World Cup, joining the 12 countries guaranteed spots by their performances at the 2011 edition won by hosts New Zealand.

The 2015 World Cup qualifying cavalcade now rolls on to the Philippines, where Sri Lanka, Singapore, Philippines and Chinese Taipei will battle it out for the honours of being crowned Asian Five Nations Division 1 champions from April 14-20 as they bid to secure spots in the Asian Five Nations 2013 and the next phase of Asian qualifying.

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