Africa teams drawn against New Zealand

By the punter
May 10, 2017

South Africa, the top-ranked African team and the Rugby Africa winner as well as a possible Repechage winner must navigate past New Zealand to reach the knockout stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

According to a draw done today, New Zealand, the form team at the moment head Pool B which has South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and a Repechage winner.

This means that at least one of the two top African teams are likely to advance to the knockout if they play smart.

Kenya which is currently ranked third behind South Africa and Namibia in Africa is one of the countries involved in the qualifiers.

Rugby Africa qualifiers will be determined from the winner of the top tier division one competition which has Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Namibia.

Kenya kick off the qualifications by playing against Uganda on June 24 with Senegal playing against Zimbabwe. On July 1, Senegal host Uganda and Tunisia play Namibia.

The next matches are on July 8 when Kenya hosts Tunisia and Namibia tackle Senegal before Senegal travels to Kenya on July 15, Uganda host Tunisia and Namibia play Zimbabwe.

On July 22, Uganda host Namibia and Kenya travels to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe will then host Tunisia on July 29 and namibia await Kenya.

The Rugby Africa qualification ends on August 5 with Uganda playing against Zimbabwe at home and Tunisia welcome Senegal. 

Hosts Japan have landed in Pool A which has Ireland, Scotland, Europe 1 and a Play-off winner. The Red Roses shocked South Africa in the last championship.

Jamie Joseph, the coach of Japan was optimistic and told World Rugby: "Any pool that we were going to get put in was going to be a big challenge. But now there's certainly around it, we can start our planning and we're really looking forward to it. I think we're fortunate in that we play Ireland in June so that'll give the players a good understanding about that team because Japan haven't beaten Ireland or Scotland to date so we know that the challenge is going to be big. There is still a long time to go, we are still a couple of years away, and I guess all teams are blooding some young players who are coming through so it's going to be really exciting."

Australia who won the diadem in 1991 and 1999 have been drawn in Pool D with Wales, Georgia and a winner from Oceania and Americas 2.

Perhaps the toughest Pool is C which has 2015 hosts England, France, Argentina, Americas 1 and Oceania 2.

In the quarter-finals,  the winner in Pool A will face Pool B runner up, Pool B winner will tackle Pool A runner-up, Pool C winner will face Pool D runner-up and Pool D winner plays Pool C runner-up.

The final will be held in Yokohama City. 

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, Play-off winner.

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, Repechage winner.

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2.

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2. 

Rugby Africa qualifier fixtures

June 24: Kenya v Uganda, Senegal v Zimbabwe; July 1: Senegal v Uganda, Tunisia v Namibia; July 8: Kenya v Tunisia, Namibia v Senegal; July 15: Kenya v Senegal, Uganda v Tunisia, Namibia v Zimbabwe; July 22: Uganda v Namibia, Zimbabwe v Kenya; July 29: Zimbabwe v Tunisia, Namibia v Kenya; August 5: Uganda v Zimbabwe, Tunisia v Senegal.