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East and central Africa youth rugby tournament kicks off in Rwanda

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- The annual regional east and central Africa youth rugby tournament kicked off in Kigali on Saturday.

The two-day tournament is taking place at the Red Cross field in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

Under the theme: “Connect to Africa” and “Friends of Rwandan Rugby”, the tournament is in its third edition, which has attracted players between 15 and 18.

The chief administrator of the Federation of Rwandan Rugby, John Livingstone Muhire said the tournament is very special because of the high level of involvement by female players.

“World rugby has set out very clear targets for the increase in female participation. It is hoped that this tournament will show females in Rwanda of the standards in other parts of Africa and encourage more females to get involved. All of the clubs in Rwanda understand that females can play rugby and that with continued support there can be an increase in the numbers of female players and frequency of female games,” he said.

Participating teams are from Kenya, host Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.



Kenya rugby team faces regional opposition in Youth rugby tourney in Rwanda

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will join host Rwanda and three other African countries in the annual regional east and central Africa youth rugby tournament in Kigali on Saturday.

The tournament is open to young players aged 15-18 year old. Abdelaziz Bougja, president of Rugby Africa, says the tournament will help promote the sport in the region. 

Alongside Kenya and Rwanda, other teams are Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

The tournament will be a major exposure tour for the Kenya team, which missed out on the Africa Youth Games in Algeria.

“Rugby is a booming sport on the African continent. The regional tourney promises to be a great success,” said the Africa boss.

This year’s tournament has a theme of “Connect to Africa” and “Friends of Rwandan Rugby” and will be marking its third annual edition designed to foster international competition.

“This is a very exciting time for Rwandan rugby. We have been growing the rate of participation in our schools for more than a decade. It will be wonderful to again gauge our progress against other teams from the region. It will be great to see our players make friendship with rugby players from other countries and recognize that there is major participation happening on other parts of the continent,” said Kamanda Tharcisse, the Rwanda Rugby Federation Secretary General.

Meanwhile, Namibia will join giants South Africa as continental representatives at the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

The Namibian side beat Kenya in the final of the Gold Cup to secure their ticket to join South Africa in Pool B at the World Cup.

Keya still have a chance to sail through and claim the final spot in the 24-team World Cup should they navigate through the Repechage tourney in Marseille, France in November where they are up against other continental losers Canada, Hong Kong and Germany.

The Rugby Africa Gold Cup was played in fifteen matches in six African countries, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Morocco.

“We are very proud of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. It is a tournament that unites the whole of Africa around the values of rugby,” said Abdelaziz Bougja, president of Rugby Africa.

The final of the Rugby Africa Silver Cup on October 20 in Lusaka between hosts Zambia and Algeria will determine which team will be promoted to the Gold Cup competition next year. 


Hosts Uganda suffer defeat to Zimbabwe in Africa Rugby Gold Cup

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Visiting Zimbabwe Sables have defeated Uganda Rugby Cranes 38-18 in their last game of the Africa Rugby Gold Cup/World Cup qualifier.

The Sables took a 19-10 half time lead before they returned determined to win the game comfortably and survive relegation into the Silver Cup.

The hosts had Bryan Oketayot and Micheal Okorach pick the tries, while Phillip Wokorach scored two penalties and a conversion. Zimbabwe picked two tries from Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Connor Pritchard, Lenience Tambwera who was also good with the conversions.

“I give credit to the Zimbabwe team because they beat us at our game. It hurts to suffer defeat at home. We made some silly mistakes and got punished,” Uganda’s coach John Duncan told Xinhua after the game.

Zimbabwe’s coach Peter de Villiers was a happy man after the final whistle saying his boys listened to the instructions and won the game.

“We are going to enjoy this victory because it has guaranteed us stay in the Gold Cup,” the former South African coach told Xinhua.

Uganda finished the competition with nine points after wins over Morocco and Tunisia, but suffered defeat to Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Namibia who topped the table qualified for the 2019 World Cup, while second placed Kenya will play in the repachage competition against three other teams to fight for another slot for the World Cup.



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