FRANCE 2023

Kenya to travel to Dubai for crucial World Cup qualifier

Simbas will compete against Hong Kong, Portugal and USA

Team Kenya sing the national anthem before the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 match between Kenya and Algeria at Stade Delort on July 6, 2022 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The date and location for the Final Qualification Tournament for the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 have been confirmed.

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 set to be held in France.

The crucial tournament will be played in a round-robin format over three match days (November 6, 12 and 18) at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

A round robin format refers to a competition in which each competitor plays in turn against every other.

At the end of the tournament, the team that has the most points will secure the 20th and final spot in France. The winner will also be grouped alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia in Pool C.

“The four participating teams have proven their worth during a challenging qualifying process that started in March 2021 and they will give their absolute best to join the France 2023 adventure. Rugby fans worldwide can expect an outstanding and hard-fought tournament,” said World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

Sir Beaumont further explained why they settled on Sevens Stadium as the location for the tournament, stating it’s a neutral venue with world-class infrastructure.

“We are also delighted to partner with Dubai for this important milestone. Dubai and its Sevens Stadium are an iconic rugby stronghold and represent an ideal and neutral location for teams coming from the four corners of the globe, with world-class infrastructures for teams to perform,” he concluded.

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.

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