2019 Rugby World Cup Africa region qualifiers kick off on Saturday June 16, 2018 with six teams looking to grab the only ticket to represent Africa at the global showpiece to be held in Japan.
Africa Gold Cup features defending champions Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco and Tunisia.
There are two matches on Saturday June 16 as Zimbabwe hosts Morocco at 2.30pm and Uganda travels to Namibia for a 4.30pm clash.
Kenya Simbas will kick-off their campaign seven days later, Saturday June 23 when they travel to North Africa to face Morocco, who were promoted after winning the 2018 Africa 1B competition.
Kenya's next match will be against ZImbabwe at home followed by home clashes against Uganda(to double up as Elgon Cup return leg) and Tunisia(2pm). There is a one month break between Uganda and Tunisia's clashes to pave way for Sevens World Cup as teams like Uganda have players playing in both 7s and 15s teams.
The Ian Snook coached side will travel to Windhoek for their last qualifier to face hosts Namibia on August 18 with both sides being firm favourites to win the Gold Cup. The last match day will also see Uganda host Zimbabwe and Morocco make a short trip to Tunisia.
For one to qualify for the 2019 World Cup as Africa 1, they will have to win the round-robin Africa Gold Cup where points will be tallied after the five matches. Africa 1 is placed in pool B that has World Champions New Zealand, South Africa Italy and repechage winner.
The team that finishes second will head to a global repechage tournament in November to try another luck. The four repechage teams will play a round-robin to decide which country will draw into Pool B in Japan with New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Africa 1.
Unlike previous Repechages, the four teams will play in a Round-robin tournament, where all teams will play each other once, rather than a semi-final, final.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup rankings follow a points system (win, tie, loss and bonus points) with other criteria in case of two or three-way ties. The winner is, in any case, the team who scores the most at the end of the tournament.
There is no final match to determine the champion, so the suspense builds regarding the final ranking of all the teams until the final second of the last match.
Namibia represented Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup after finishing top in the 2014 edition of CAR.
Rugby Africa Gold Cup Fixtures
16 June 2018
Zimbabwe v Morocco -Quinton Immelman(SARU) -Ref
Namibia v Uganda -Cwengile Jadezweni(SARU)
23 June 2018
Namibia v Tunisia -Quinton Immelman(SARU)
Morocco v Kenya -Sebastien Minery(FFR)
30 June 2018
Kenya v Zimbabwe -Tual Trainini(FFR)
Morocco v Namibia -Adrien Descottes(FFR)
7 July 2018
Kenya v Uganda -Quinton Immelman(SARU)
Tunisia v Zimbabwe -Jonathan Dufort(FFR)
4 August 2018
Uganda v Tunisia -Cwengile Jadezweni(SARU)
Zimbabwe v Namibia -Egon Seconds(SARU)
11 August 2018
Uganda v Morocco -Rasta Rasivhenge(SARU)
Kenya v Tunisia -Julian Castaignede(FFR)
18 August 2018
Uganda v Zimbabwe -Egon Seconds(SARU)
Namibia v Kenya -Rasta Rasivhenge(SARU)
Tunisia v Morocco -Cedric Marchat(FFR)
2.Loser of (Germany/Portugal) vs Samoa
4.Asia 2(Likely to be Hong Kong or Tahiti)