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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Head Coach calls rugby 15s team early to camp

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Rugby 15s head coach Ian Snook has summoned his team to camp early to start preparation for the World Rugby Repechage tourney in Marseille, France in November.

The New Zealand coach has called the team to camp starting on Sept. 3 as he seeks to work on the mistakes that left his side exposed losing to Africa Gold Cup champions Namibia in Windhoek a week ago to miss out on direct ticket to the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

“We had problems in our defenses and we want to work on them,” said Snook on Tuesday in Nairobi.

Kenya 15s team want to embark on their final quest to secure a 2019 Rugby World Cup berth at the repechage competition, which runs from Nov. 11-23.

Snook’s team missed out on direct qualification after a 53-28 loss away to Namibia and had to settle for the second slot in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign which served as the African qualifying round and had teams from Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Morocco.

In France, Kenya will take their battle to the doorsteps of fellow losers in respective continents Canada, Hong Kong, China and Germany in a round robin competition for the remaining ticket. The winner of the tournament will secure a slot in Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia at the World Cup in 2019.

“Kenya has been seeded third for this competition based on their current global ranking at 28 while Hong Kong (China) ranked 21st globally, are top seeds with Canada (23) seeded second with Germany (29) seeded fourth,” said Snook.

Canada will arrive in Marseille after failing to qualify from the Americas region, Germany fell to a playoff defeat against Samoa while Hong Kong, China qualified for the repechage after playoff victory over the Cook Islands to represent Asia/Pacific.

“Kenya will begin the repechage campaign with a clash against Canada on Nov 11 before playing Hong Kong and Germany,” he added.  

           

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