Spain will not play in next year’s World Cup after losing an appeal against their disqualification.
They were removed from the tournament after fielding an ineligible player during qualifying. The sanction of a 10-point deduction from the Rugby Europe Championship meant their place in Pool B alongside Ireland, South Africa and Scotland, was taken by Romania.
An independent committee judging the case deducted five points from each match in which South African prop Gavin van den Berg appeared, as well as a £25,000 fine.
Spain suffered a similar fate in the build-up to the last World Cup.
A statement released by World Rugby on behalf on an independent appeal committee read: “Following an appeal lodged by the Federacion Espanola de Rugby (FER) (Spanish Union), an independent appeal committee has upheld the original decision of the independent judicial committee relating to breaches of player eligibility during the European regional Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification process.
“In accordance with World Rugby regulations, the decision of the independent appeal committee is final and binding with no further right to appeal.”