2007 World Cup
Thirteen teams competed in the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2007 WC, Guam and India joining the competition for the first time.
Another new format was tried; this one more complex than previously; The first round, played in 2005, consisted of four "divisions"; 1, 2, 3a and 3b. In the second round, the top two of Division One (2005) and the winner of Division Two (2005) would form Division One (2006), whilst the bottom team of Division One (2005), the second (of three) in Division Two (2005), and the winner of a play-off between the Division 3a (2005) and Division 3b (2005) champions would form Division Two (2006). In the third round, the top two from Division One (2006) and the winner of Division Two (2006) would play a round-robin to decide the final placings.
Hong Kong, Japan and Korea formed Division One (2005), with Hong Kong finishing bottom and replaced by Arabian Gulf, who had won Division Two (2005). Taiwan finished bottom of Division Two, and were replaced by Sri Lanka, winners of the 3a-3b play-off over Kazakhstan. In the second round, Arabian Gulf finished bottom of Division One (2006), and were replaced in the final round by Hong Kong, who won Division Two (2006). In the final group, Japan again emerged victorious, sealing their place at the World Cup with a comprehensive 54-0 defeat of South Korea, who went on to lose to the Tongans for the third successive time, this time 85-3 in a one-off match in Wellington.
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