NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Captain of the Kenya rugby 15s team Wilson
Kopondo says his team has taken positives despite their failure
to make the 2019 World Cup.
Kopondo said the
team has gained valuable experience ahead of the 2019 season,
where some players will drop down to the Sevens game and seek
qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“It has been a very
good experience for the country, we have taken the lessons and
seen the level we need to aspire too and that is what we will be
working towards for the next qualifiers,” he said.
Four teams of Kenya,
Canada, Germany and Hong Kong, China were battling for the last
slot after losing out in their respective continental World Cup
And it was Canada
who made the final spot to join 19 other qualifiers after
beating Hong Kong, China 27-10 in the final match of the
repechage tournament in France on Friday.
second after recording a bonus-point 43-6 victory over Kenya.
Hong Kong, China finished third and Kenya fourth.
Head coach Ian Snook
says lack of good preparations and support may have cost the
team the ticket to the World Cup.
“I don’t have any
plans at the moment. I will speak with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)
and we will see where we take it from here,” said Snook.
During the World
Cup, Canada will play in Pool B against defending champions New
Zealand, two-time winners South Africa, Italy and African
qualifiers Namibia, with their first match to be against the
Azzurri (New Zealand) in Fukuoka, Japan in September 2019.
Twelve teams have
qualified directly by virtue of finishing in the top three of
their respective pools at the World Cup 2015 in England. The
remaining eight places were determined by a process of regional
and cross-regional qualifiers.
process, which began in March 2016, has involved 188 matches
across 994 days among 71 teams for a dream of playing at 2019
The last eight
qualifiers are USA, Uruguay, Russia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Namibia