NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Tunisian rugby 15s side arrived in Nairobi
buoyant about their chances of turning the tide in their bid to
evade relegation and remain in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup
competition next season.
With the hopes of
making it to the 2019 World Cup gone, Tunisia is embroiled in a
brawl for survival against fellow strugglers Uganda and
Tunisia coach Ahmed
Guerbech however believes a win against Kenya will help them
navigate through the relegation waters.
“We prepared well
for this game. We still have two more games that are not going
to be easy, one which is away and we finish at home. Today, we
are guaranteed an 80 percent chance of staying in Gold Cup
category. The players are ready to make sacrifices by leaving
everything behind and fighting for the team,” said Guerbech.
Tunisia’s top try
scorers Mohamed Mliss and Mohamed Ali Gafsi will be out to lead
their team from the front.
Already, Zambia has
been promoted to the Gold cup campaign next season after winning
the Africa Silver Cup tournament. The last team in the Gold Cup
will be dropped to the Silver Cup category next year.
However, three teams
Kenya, defending champions Namibia and Morocco still have a
chance of making it to the top and qualifying for the 2019 World
Cup in Japan.
Kenya will be
hosting Tunisia on Saturday in Nairobi with a win cementing
their place in the top two.
Kenya and Tunisia
played their first test in 1997, with the North Africans
crushing their East African opponents 52-5 in this match which
served as qualifier for the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Africa Gold Cup clash at the RFUEA will be the 10th
test between the two sides and the tables have turned with Kenya
holding the upper hand leading the head to head statistics with
six overall wins including four wins on the trot since 2011 when
the two sides faced off in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup final in
This year’s Rugby
Africa Gold Cup serves as the African qualifying round for the
2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The overall winner will secure
qualification to next year’s competition with the runners-up
heading to a global repechage competition in Marseille, France
in November to compete with Canada, Germany as well as Hong
Kong, China for the final slot at rugby World Cup 2019.
The Kenya team
currently lies second on the log, boasting three wins from three
outings (28-24 against Morocco, 45-36 over Zimbabwe and 38-22