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Blow for Simbas

Africa Gold Cup cancelled as Kenya 15's forced to look for other build-up options

In Summary

• Rugby Africa’s executive committee is currently working in conjunction with World Rugby to suggest other formats of 15-a-side competitions.

• Kenya have for the past two seasons finished second to Namibia in the Gold Cup.

Kenya Simbas' Vincent Mose is tackled by Hong Kong's Lex Kaleca/FILE
Kenya Simbas' Vincent Mose is tackled by Hong Kong's Lex Kaleca/FILE

Kenya Simbas may be forced to look for Test matches elsewhere this year following the cancellation of the 2019 Africa Gold Cup.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU chief executive officer, Sylvia Kamau yesterday said plans are underway to play Portugal, Germany and Zimbabwe in order to remain competitive

"We sent invitations out earlier in the year and we are keen to have our national team to play against competitive sides, ” added Kamau. 

The move comes after the premature termination of Rugby Africa and Kwese Sports contract which has left a huge gap in the 2019 budget. 

“In 2019, Rugby Africa must organise Olympic Qualifiers (men and women) for Tokyo 2020 as well as the first African qualifier tournament for the 2021 women’s Rugby World Cup,” the continental body said in a statement.

“We regret to inform you that the 2019 Silver Cup and 2019 Gold Cup tournaments are cancelled," said the statement.

Rugby Africa’s executive committee is currently working in conjunction with World Rugby to suggest other formats of 15-a-side competitions which will be financially viable in 2019 and won’t jeopardise the future of Rugby Africa’s competitions,” the Africa Rugby added.

"At the same time, we are working on a new Rugby World Cup Qualifier model which needs to be sustainable, inclusive and attractive. Unions will be consulted in this process with an aim to release the final fixtures for 2020 in October 2019.”

“We understand this decision may impact your own programme and will be a disappointment for your players. Rugby Africa’s Exco in collaboration with Steph Nel – Rugby Service Manager Africa for World Rugby – have considered many different approaches and although it was a hard call to make, we felt that this was the only viable option. We do look forward to working with you on an exciting project for 2020.”

“We will come back to you shortly about other options for men’s 15-a-side competition in 2019 as well as the final dates and venues for the Olympic Qualifiers,” read the press statement in part.

 

Kenya have for the past two seasons finished second to Namibia in the Gold Cup. Last year, the event was used as Rugby World Cup qualifier with Simbas dropping to the repechage where they lost to Canada, Hong Kong and Germany.