After fifteen thrilling matches, the Rugby Africa Gold Cup ended on a high note with three games played consecutively on Saturday 18th August across the African continent in Kampala, Windhoek and Monastir
In the end, it was Namibia who won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup trophy and the right to join South Africa in Pool B at the next Rugby World Cup in 2019 in Japan. It is clear that from the start, the Namibian team dominated the competition and well deserved the title of African champion. The Kenyans, who put up a creditable performance in this final with a score of 53 to 28, will battle against Canada, Hong Kong and Germany in November in Marseille to try to win the last, highly coveted place in the World Cup.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup was played in fifteen matches in six African countries, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Morocco – whose final ranking was in this order. “This intense competition pushes the teams to even greater performances; it’s impossible to participate, let alone win the Gold Cup without being exceptionally well prepared. We can no longer do without high performance programs if we want to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. This is the big challenge for Rugby Africa in the future,” Rugby Africa’s director of competitions, Guédel N’Diaye said.
“We are very proud of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. It is a tournament that unites the whole of Africa around the values of rugby. We use the opportunity to organise youth tournaments, training sessions, and it is to the benefit of the entire rugby community. Our institutional and commercial partners have shown interest in it and the media are imparting information about it in Africa and beyond through our partnership with the APO group. Much more than a means to choose a qualifier to represent Africa in the Rugby World Cup, the Rugby Africa Gold Cup is a great way to popularise our sport and exemplify our values. To this end, Kwese Sports, our broadcasting partner, has been instrumental in the project and we are grateful. The dynamic demographics and talented athletes of Africa represent enormous potential and have a role to play on the global rugby scene,” Abdelaziz Bougja, president of Rugby Africa declared.
Fans are more and more likely to turn up to support their teams according to the reports of the match commissioners. In fact, a recent report from World Rugby indicates more than 31 million rugby fans in Africa. Rugby is therefore a booming sport on the African continent and the African association is already planning the next Gold Cup, which promises to be a great success again. The final of the Rugby Africa Silver Cup on October 20th in Zambia between Zambia and Algeria will determine which team will be promoted to the Gold Cup competition next year.
Created in 1986, Rugby Africa, previously the African Confederation of Rugby (Confédération Africaine de Rugby – CAR), is one of the six regional associations composing World Rugby,the international organisation responsible for the governing of Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens. Rugby Africa unites all of the African countries which play rugby union, rugby sevens, and women’s rugby. Rugby Africa organises the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, the qualifying competition for the Rugby World Cup 2019, and Africa 7, a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games 2020. Rugby Africa has 38 members, including 22 membres and associated members of World Rugby, 10 members and associated members of Rugby Africa and 16 new countries collaborating with Rugby Africa.