NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya will need to play in a few build up matches
and gain international experience if the country’s 15 rugby side
is to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
Kenya 15s head coach
Ian Snook has underscored the need for the country to invest in
the team saying they can qualify for the World Cup every four
years if they engage top sides regularly.
“Kenya needs to play
against tough teams all the time so as to get better and better.
That should be the next step,” Snook said on Monday.
“We came close in
Namibia, but we lost. We still have the chance to secure the
last remaining ticket if we win the repechage challenge in
Marseille, France in November.”
Since they made
their Rugby World Cup debut in 1999, Namibia have played 19
matches and lost all of them - a record they will be looking to
put right in Japan next year after securing their place in Pool
B alongside defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy
and the as yet unknown repechage winner.
Four teams are
battling it out in the repechage. They are Kenya, Canada, Hong
Kong, China and Germany.
third in Americas regional qualifier to head to repechage with
the United States and Uruguay going through to Japan while
Germany lost to Russia in the Europe regional qualifier. Hong
Kong, China won Asia cross regional play-off to proceed to
Hong Kong, China,
Canada and Namibia are currently placed 21, 22 and 23
respectively in the World Rugby Ranking while Kenya are 28th.
Kenya have played
Germany once, losing 30-29 in Nairobi last year while they have
met Hong Kong, China five times, losing on three occasions, with
one win and a draw.
Hong Kong, China
played Kenya last at the Cup of Nations in December in Hong
Kong, winning 40-30 on their way to retaining the trophy. “Kenya
need to improve on split second decision making,” said Snook.
Kenya captain Davis
Chenge believes his side can turn the tide and secure their
maiden show at the big boys table, the World Cup in Japan in
“We gave our all but
unfortunately Namibia were better than us as they capitalized on
our mistakes to win the game. We did poorly in our line-outs and
easily conceded turnovers in the ruck. We still have one more
shot at the World Cup qualification and hopefully we will seize
it,” said Chenge.