NAIROBI (Xinhua) —
Kenya 15s team head coach Ian Snook said
Wednesday that his team is in high spirit ahead of the repechage
tournament of Rugby World Cup 2019.
Kenya will take on
Canada and Germany in the repechage which starts in Marseille,
France from Nov. 11-23.
“I am excited for
the opportunities it would provide for the players. To perform
on the big stage will expose them to clubs all over the world
and believe me there are plenty who could be playing in Europe
or Japan as quality professionals,” said Snook.
The winner of the
round robin format play will secure the final ticket to the
World Cup in Japan in 2019.
A repechage, of one
form or other, has been used to determine qualifiers for a Rugby
World Cup since the 1999 tournament hosted by Wales.
However, this is the
first time that World Rugby is using a round-robin event in one
location to select the winner to join the other 19 teams that
have already been confirmed.
“The players have a
lot to learn and this is what we want because when you play
against big teams often, you gain,” said Snook.
Kenya has been
pitching camp in Romania for a buildup contest against the host,
where they lost 36-5 in Bucharest.
However, coach Snook
has warned his opponents not to look down upon Kenya’s prospects
in the repechage as they target to stage a surprise performance
and seal their first ever ticket to the World Cup.
Kenya lost out to
Namibia in Africa Gold Cup to miss the automatic ticket from
continental qualification while Canada finished third behind USA
and Argentina in their America’s tourney.
Kenya captain warns ahead of
rugby World Cup qualifier
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s 15s rugby captain Davis Chenge has warned their
opponents in the World Cup repechage to rule out the east
African side on their own peril.
Chenge has promised
to lead from the front when they take on Hong Kong of China,
Germany and Canada in the qualification tourney for the final
slot of 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The repechage World
Cup qualifier will be played in Marseille, France from Nov.
Kenya lost 36-5 to
Romania in the buildup match on Saturday with the skipper saying
it was a poor show owing to their bad preparations. However, he
has promised to fire on all cylinders in Marseille next week.
“This was the type
of games we wanted. We have gained a lot under our belt and I
have seen the areas we need to improve and it was good for the
entire team,” said Chenge.
Romania is one of
the bigwigs in rugby 15s and will miss the finals in Japan next
year over fielding ineligible players.
But Chenge believes
they gave them a reality check, which will go a long way to
waken their hunger for win in Marseille.
“Romania are strong
and they are big on scrums and set piece rugby and it was good
to learn from them,” added Chenge.
“We are now well
ahead in our preparations and we have nothing to fear. We are
relishing the challenge in the qualifier.”
Kenya Rugby Focuses on World
NAIROBI (Xinhua) —
The Kenya 15s rugby team remains upbeat despite
losing 36-5 to Romania in Bucharest in their final build up
match ahead of the World Cup qualifier starting in Marseille,
France from Nov. 11-23.
Head coach Ian Snook
however rues lack of international friendlies, which would have
put his side in better position to wrest the single slot
reserved from the repechage tourney in Marseille against three
other continental losers in Germany, Hong Kong of China and
Already 19 teams
have booked their tickets to the World Cup with Africa having
Gold Cup champions Namibia and South Africa. The final team to
make 20 will be confirmed after the repechage tournament.
“Kenya has its
challenges especially in professionalizing the sport. A lot of
time, players have to fend for their own transport and that is
not right. But these pool of players are talented and
hardworking and with that they are capable of winning in
France,” Snook said before leaving for Romania.
Snook says the
bigger task of qualifying for the first ever World Cup will
inspire the players as they now turn their focus to Canada, Hong
Kong of China and Germany.
Kenya will open
their campaign in the repechage against Canada on Nov. 11 before
taking on Hong Kong on Nov. 17 and then wrap it up with a
meeting with European giants Germany on Nov. 23.