NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – Kenya women’s team hopes to weather the storm and qualify for their first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup in the 15s version of the sport in 2021 in New Zealand.
Sylvia Kamau, CEO of the Kenya Rugby Union, believes the women’s team has a good chance of winning the Africa World Cup qualifiers in August to secure a direct ticket to the global showpiece.
“If the girls miss direct qualification, Kenya will have a chance through the repechage world qualifier tournament via a play-off between South America second-placed team,” said Kamau on Friday in Nairobi.
According to World Rugby, a win at the continental showpiece set for August will serve as a direct ticket to the World Cup in 2021. The top seven placed teams from Women’s World Cup in 2017 have already secured automatic qualification.
“The pathway for teams who have not automatically qualified, offers opportunities for more countries to secure a place at the World Cup 2021 with the addition of a repechage tournament for the first time in the competition’s history. The top seven placed teams from the 2017 World Cup – New Zealand, England, USA, France, Canada, Australia and Wales – have already secured automatic qualification for the competition in 2021,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
The Kenyan girls have not been in action in the 15s version since 2015 when they clinched the Elgon cup title. South Africa, the bigwigs from the continent, has already kicked off preps for World Cup by planning tests against Scotland.
Under the pathway, non-qualified teams will compete in new and existing regional tournaments, maximizing international spread and exposure, with the winners of each tournament automatically securing a place at women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.