This was due to be only the second time in the national side’s history that they were to take part in the biggest stage of all. The last time being the 1999 world cup, where they found their exit in the group stages.
This time around they find themselves out of the competition, just months after qualifying.
Spain have learnt of their disqualification from the 2023 Rugby World Cup today, after being found to have fielded an ineligible player in two of their matches during the 2021-22 Rugby Europe Championship.
— España Rugby (@ferugby) April 28, 2022
World Rugby has found that Gavin van den Berg, who is of South African origin, had falsified his date of entry into Spain in order to comply with eligibility requirements.
Romania filed a complaint after missing out on qualification to the Spanish side, which caused World Rugby to launch an investigation into the matter. Given that this was not the first time that Spain had been in trouble for this type of matter, it was never looking good.
This means that World Rugby has fined Spain £25,000 and docked five points per qualification match in which Van den Berg played. As a result, a total reduction of 10 points has been taken, knocking them down to fourth place in the standings, which has allowed Romania to take their place instead.
ℹ️ Federația Română de Rugby salută decizia Comisiei Independente a World Rugby.
— Rugby Romania (@RugbyRomania) April 28, 2022