THE pool stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup is approaching its conclusion, and for the majority of nations there is still plenty to play for.
After every team has played four group games, the top two finishers in each pool of five go through to the quarter-finals on 14 and 15 October.
The sides finishing third in their pools qualify for the 2027 World Cup in Australia, as do the quarter-finalists.
Who plays who in the quarter-finals?
14 October: Quarter-final 1: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D (Stade de Marseille), 16:00 – currently Wales v Samoa
14 October: Quarter-final 2: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A (Stade de France), 20:00 – currently Ireland v Italy
15 October: Quarter-final 3: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C (Stade de Marseille), 16:00 – currently England v Fiji
15 October: Quarter-final 4: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B (Stade de France), 20:00 – currently France v South Africa
World Cup semi-finals
The winners of the games on 14 October play each other in the first semi-final on 20 October and the winners of the matches on 15 October face each other in the last four on 21 October.
World Cup final
The Rugby World Cup winners will be crowned in Paris on 28 October.
Knockout stage permutations
Before all that, the qualifiers from the pool are yet to be fully determined, with loads of permutations and possibilities coming into play.
In the pool stage, teams earn four points for a win and two for a draw.
A bonus point is awarded for scoring four tries or for a defeat by seven points or fewer.
If two teams are tied on the same number of points, the winner of the match between those teams will go through regardless of points difference.
All times in the remaining fixtures listed below are BST — here is what each team needs from their final preliminary matches . . .
29 September: New Zealand v Italy (20:00)
5 October: New Zealand v Uruguay (20:00)
6 October: France v Italy (20:00)
If France beat Italy they will qualify and finish top of Pool A.
Defeat would leave them at risk of elimination if New Zealand win their final two games.
Italy will reach the knockout phase for the first time if they beat New Zealand, or if that game ends in a draw and Italy earn a bonus point but the All Blacks do not.
There is a possibility they can also go through if they lose to the All Blacks but beat France, with bonus points all important.
A shock defeat by Italy would mean a first ever group-stage elimination for New Zealand, while winning their final two matches should be enough for the All Blacks to qualify — but that depends on the number of bonus points collected by the current top three in their remaining games.
Uruguay’s only hope is that they win their final game against New Zealand with a bonus point and that they, Italy and the All Blacks all finish the pool with 10 points.
In that scenario, the head-to-head tie-breaker will be cancelled out — all three teams would have won one and lost one of their two meetings against each other — so points difference will be the next decider.
Namibia lost all four of their matches and will finish bottom of the group. — BBCsport.