Kenya is set to host two Currie Cup first division matches in June in the run-up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.
The Simbas who are currently in South Africa as scheduled to play Leopards at RFUEA Grounds on 4 June 2022 and will later tackle Eastern Province Elephants at the venue on 11 June 2022 in matches dubbed ‘Currie Cup Nairobi Series’
“UPDATE | Kenya Simbas to play two #CurrieCup fixtures at the RFUEA. They will play Leopards on 4th June before playing the Eastern Province Elephants on 11th June, ” KRU announced.
“Today we have the launch of the Currie Cup first division Nairobi Series. We will host two matches on 4th and 11 June at RFUEA Grounds. Its an unique opportunity for the Kenyan fans to watch the Simbas before they fly out for the qualifiers. So we are very excited.” KRU Chairman Oduor Gangla said.
“We are gaining invaluable experience in the ongoing Currie matches. This partnership with SARU and provinces is very important and we hope that next year we will have more matches here and that our players will be able to play in high level matches.” he added.
The two matches will be Kenya Simbas final Currie Cup matches before they head to France for the Rugby Africa Cup 2022, which doubles as the final round of Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying for teams on the continent, will take place in France between 1-10 July, 2022.
The tournament will be held at Stade Maurice-David in Aix-en-Provence and Stade Pierre-Delort in Marseille, which hosted the RWC 2019 Final Qualification Tournament.
The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.
Whoever finishes as runners-up following the much-anticipated Rugby Africa Cup 2022 final on 10 July will still have a chance of qualifying for RWC 2023 through the Final Qualification Tournament.
Following the Rugby Africa Cup Repechage 2021, the Rugby Africa Cup pool stage was held in July, 2021 and determined the eight teams who make up the quarter-final line-up in France.
Namibia, who are bidding to reach a seventh successive Rugby World Cup, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe qualified for the quarter-finals as pool winners.
They have been joined in the last eight by pool runners-up Burkina Faso, Algeria, Kenya Simbas and Ivory Coast.
Burkina Faso, the lowest competing nation on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings at 91, will take on Namibia, while Senegal play Algeria, Uganda face Kenya and Zimbabwe are scheduled to meet Ivory Coast between 1-2 July.
The winner of the quarter-final between Namibia and Burkina Faso will meet either Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast – who have appeared at three Rugby World Cups between them – in the semi-finals.
Either Senegal or Algeria will then play the winner of the quarter-final between Uganda and East Africa rivals Kenya for a place in the final.
A bronze final, as well as fifth-place and seventh-place play-offs, will be held on 10 July prior to the final, in which Africa’s representative at RWC 2023 will be decided.