RUGBY

Simba's pathway to final World Cup qualifier revealed

The matches will be played in Dubai

NAIROBI, KENYA - JUNE 30: In this handout image provided by the APO Group, Kenya's Darwin Mukidza takes a conversion as Kenya Simbas beat Zimbabwe Sables 45-36 during the Rugby World Cup qualifier and Rugby Africa Gold Cup match between Kenya and Zimbabwe at RFUEA Ground on June 30, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by APO Group via Getty Images)

The fixture list for the Final Qualification Tournament for the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 has been confirmed. This will determine the 20th and final qualifier for the quadrennial tournament set to take place in France.

From November 6-18 the Kenya 15’s side will compete against Hong Kong, Portugal and the United States of America for a spot in the World Cup. The fixture list was determined using the World Rugby Men’s Rankings as of July 31, 2022.

The crucial tournament will be played in a round-robin format over three match days at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

A round robin format refers to a competition in which each competitor plays in turn against every other. The winner will also be grouped alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia in Pool C.

Kenya who are the lowest ranked side (33rd) in the tournament will face the highest rank side United States of America (19th) on the opening day, Sunday, November 6. Later that day, 20th ranked side Portugal will play 22nd ranked side Hong Kong.

The Simbas' next fixture will take place on November 12 against Portugal. Later that day, eight-time World Cup competitors USA will play Hong Kong, who just like Kenya are yet to qualify for the World Cup.

The final fixtures will take place on Friday, November 18 when Simbas will play against Hong Kong commonly referred to as Dragons. Portugal, nicknamed Os Lobos, Portuguese for "The Wolves" will be aiming to make it to their second World Cup when they clash with USA.

Kenya failed to secure an automatic qualification when they lost 36-0 to Namibia during Africa’s qualifying competition.

On the night, flanker Wian Conradie booked his team a place in the global showpiece following a hat-trick of tries.

His and Namibia's first try came in the 17th minute when hooker, Torsten van Jaarsveld powered through Kenya's defence before passing it to scrum-half Damian Stevens who linked with Conradie to go over the line.

The resulting conversion was missed when flyhalf Cliven Loubser went wide but he made up for it when he comfortably slotted in a penalty a few minutes later, to make it 10-0.

Namibia capitalised on Kenya's mistakes just before halftime when they were awarded a five-metre scrum. The scrum saw Adriaan Booysen burst through the crowd only to feed Conradie, for his second try of the day. Score at half-time, 15-0.

Conradie sealed his hat-trick in the last two minutes of the match before Namibia added their fourth through captain Johan Deysel. Game over.

More from category

Recommended articles

Why Mohamed Salah is struggling this season - Jurgen Klopp

Why Mohamed Salah is struggling this season - Jurgen Klopp

Again, Juventus star escapes robbery attempt

Again, Juventus star escapes robbery attempt

How much do you know about your favourite Premier League Club?

How much do you know about your favourite Premier League Club?

Catch up with the latest football news

Catch up with the latest football news

'How did United win us?' - Reactions as Arsenal thrash Bodø/Glimt in the Europa League

'How did United win us?' - Reactions as Arsenal thrash Bodø/Glimt in the Europa League

Kyle Walker on the verge of missing 2022 World Cup after groin surgery

Kyle Walker on the verge of missing 2022 World Cup after groin surgery