Rugby Africa Cup 15s kick-off dates and format announced

Rugby Africa has set out July as the month for the Africa Cup 15s pool matches with Namibia, Kenya, Uganda and Tunisia likely to serve as venues.

The Pool matches are expected to run between 1 July to 18 July with 12 teams being divided in pools of three teams each. Pools matches will be played on a round-robin basis with each pool having a single venue for all its matches.

Top two teams from each pool will qualify for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup edition which will have a total of eight teams. The 2022 edition will serve as the qualification round for the 2023 Rugby Africa Cup. Kenya Simbas, Namibia, Uganda and Zimbabwe are some of the teams expected to feature in the pool phase and will be joined by teams that will qualify from the RAC Repechage which is scheduled to kick off earlier.

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“The Rugby Africa Cup Pools kicks off in July, with four pools of three teams each playing a Round-Robin tournament at a single venue per pool. The best two teams from each pool qualify for RAC 2022, which serves as the final round of Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier for Africa.” reads part of the statement by Rugby Africa.

The Repechage is set for May and it will have the likes of Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Eswatini, Mauritius taking part.

“May, attention turns to West Africa for the Rugby Africa Cup repechage, a qualifier for the 12th slot in the Rugby Africa Cup Pools 2021. Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Eswatini, Mauritius, Morocco (pending suspension review) Nigeria and Rwanda are all eligible for the big draw, with a July international window as a fallback option.”

“The Women’s 15s runs at the same time, with each host union hosting a Women’s 15s test match between host union and a visiting or neighbouring country,” the statement concludes.

The Rugby Africa Cup has failed to take place in the last two years with the 2019 edition being cancelled following the withdrawal of sponsors while the 2020 edition was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

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