Germany find themselves in a particularly opportunistic position this weekend when they face Samoa in the first of two matches to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Despite a disastrous campaign in 2018, Germany have the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup lifeline after Romania, Belgium and Spain were all deducted points for playing ineligible players. The point deductions meant that Germany were elevated into a playoff game against Portugal, which they won 16-13 to advance to the next stage which will see them face Samoa.
The first of the two matches sees Samoa host Germany in Apia with a return fixture in Heidelberg in July.
The overall winner from the playoff matches will take the final spot in Pool A at Rugby World Cup 2019 alongside Ireland, Scotland, hosts Japan and Russia.
Samoa will be looking to continue their participation in the competition having competed in every tournament since their maiden appearance in 1991. If they want to maintain that record they must turn their form around having won just two of their last 15 tests since the last Rugby World Cup in England.
Luckily for both sides, this tie is not the last chance to qualify with the loser following the return leg on 14 July heading into the four-team global repechage tournament in November.