The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE have a great opportunity to prepare for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup, which doubles up as the 2023 Rugby World Cup when they take part in a tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa organised by World Rugby next month.
The tournament will be held in South Africa at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sports from the 12th to the 21st of November, with the other teams to take part being Namibia, Brazil and Kenya.
World Rugby organised the tournament as a way of providing of providing suitable high performance competition in November for the highest ranked African sides which will include an Invitational side from Brazil.
Namibia is the highest ranked African country outside of South Africa, as they are the 25th best team in the world. Brazil is the second best team to take part in that tournament at number 26, followed by Zimbabwe (34) and Kenya (35).
The format of play will be semifinals on the 14th and the finals on the 20th of November. Namibia will square off with Kenya with Zimbabwe taking on Brazil. Winners of the two matches will square off in the final while the losers square off in the third place play off.
Sables coach, Brendan Dawson will use the matches in South Africa to get his troops ready for next year’s Rugby Africa Cup. Zimbabwe face Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals and if they win, they might have Namibia waiting for them in the semis if the Namibians do make it past Burkina Faso in the last eight.
Winners of next year’s Rugby Africa Cup to be played in France will secure automatic qualification to the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in the European country while runners up from the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 will have to make do with a place in the final qualification tournament to make one final attempt to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023.
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