NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya 15s rugby head coach Ian Snook says his
side is not under pressure to deliver the final ticket to the
2019 World Cup ahead of their departure to Marseille, France on
for the Repechage tourney.
Kenya’s team, Simbas,
have wound up their training and will be departing Wednesday for
the final World Cup qualifier tourney in Marseille where they
will come up against Germany, Hong Kong, China and Canada.
tournament will run on Nov. 11-23. However, Kenya team will
first head to Bucharest, Romania for two friendly matches.
It is the only build
up matches the team will have, which has left coach Snook
disappointed with the preparations.
Three other friendly
matches against Namibia, British Army and Loftus 2,000 have all
been called off.
“We had a program
and despite some of the plans not being fulfilled, I still
believe the team is strong to challenge at the top level,” said
Snook in Nairobi.
Snook said his side
has improved its defense ahead of their World Rugby Repechage
tournament, which saw them fail to beat Namibia for the
automatic ticket to Japan in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup
“Our defense has
been one of the problems during the Gold Cup and we had to work
on it before going to Marseille,” said Snook.
“It will not be an
easy competition but the players know what to expect in France.
We have what it takes to qualify and its down to hard work.”
Canada are the top
seeds in the tournament followed by Germany, Kenya and Hong
The winner of the
tournament, which will be played on robin format, will secure a
slot in Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and
Namibia at the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Kenya will send a
30-man squad plus technical bench to Marseille for the repechage
which presents a last opportunity for a team to qualify for
Japan 2019. All other 19 teams for Japan 2019 have been
year’s Kenya Safari Sevens tournament will take a 12 team
format. This is in line with other international events like the
Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. The tournament will be held
on Nov. 9-11 in Nairobi.
Kenya Rugby Union
has confirmed that seven international team will compete in the
event, which is being used as a curtain raiser ahead of the
World Series circuit starting in Dubai on Dec. 1.
The foreign teams
include Samurai, Spain, Portugal, Golden Lions, Uganda Cranes
and South Africa side Red Wailers. Kenya will field two sides
Shujaa and Morans.