Azerbaijan v Slovakia in Zenica
Venue: Kamberovsca Polie
Referee: C.Raduta (Romania)
Azerbaijan struggled at this level last season. They lost 5-16 to Bosnia Herzegovina at home last November and then 0-59 to Cyprus away. Cyprus went on to win promotion up to the next level. This season Slovakia, who pulled out of international rugby in 2009, rejoins the competition.
The grassroots level of rugby is developing in both countries. Slovakia has just the one club Slovan Bratislava, which plays in the Czech league, whilst Azerbaijan has four; two based in Baku, the other two in other centres. Azerbaijan ,according to its web site, will enter a club side into the Georgian rugby competition this season.
Slovakia performed well against the home side on Monday. Without a team list it's difficult to determine their strength but in the past they have been able to call upon Slovaks playing in the Czech Republic competition. This may give them the edge against Azerbaijan, whose strength is a bit of an unknown quantity.
31.10.2007 Slovakia 33-18 in Nicosia (ENC 3D)
GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Azerbaijan 41st, Slovakia 43rd
Prediction: Slovakia by 7 points