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The European Men’s Rugby Championship began its 2018 season with three contests, and the prospect that one of the five nations will advance to fill the Europe 1 Rugby World Cup 2019 slot. Georgia have already booked placement off of their 2015 RWC result in England.

The most important match witnessed Spain (#19) defeat Russia (#20) 20-13, as Los Leones switched places with the Bears in World Rugby rankings. The Spanish victory increased their lead over Russia to seven points in the race for the RWC 2019 European spot although Spain still trails Romania by three points.

Romania (#15) trampled Germany (#27) 85-6, the wide margin of victory a surprise as last year Germany upset the Oaks and seemed on the verge of a rugby renaissance. Romania scored at will piling on 13-tries in an easy victory.

In the final match, Georgia (#12) had an easy time with Belgium (#28), winning 42-6 with four first-half tries.

This Sunday, February 18, sets up a pivotal match when Spain host Romania. The Oaks have played in all eight RWC tournaments while Spain and Russia number one event each.