Kenya Rugby Union(KRU) has laid down pathway that will see Kenya Lionesses 15s national team qualify for 2021 Women Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand.
KRU on Wednesday announced the return of Women’s 15s rugby starting with the Aberdeen Shikhoyi Cup that is played in memory of the legendary Kenya Lioness Captain Aberdeen Shikhoyi.
Three franchises will be composed from nine core teams “that took part in the KRU Women’s 10 Aside Festival plus another six teams that took part in the Kenya University Sports Association Women Exhibition 7s games,” said KRU.
2019 Women 10 Aside Champions Top Fry Nakuru, Shamas Rugby Foundation, Kisumu Dolphins, Egerton university, MMUST & Maseno university will make up Tembo Franchise.
The second team “CHUI” will be composed of the The Great Rift 10 Aside Champions, Standard Chartered Impala Ladies, Menengai Cream Homeboyz and Comras while the third Team, “Black Lions” will be a combination of Stanbic Mwamba Ladies, Northern Suburbs and the Kenyatta University Bladbabes.
KRU says the Aberdeen Shikhoyi 15 Aside Franchise will run for three Sundays with a week’s break in between before we get the Lioness Select and Probables.
"The selected players will then be cut down further to form the Kenya Lioness team that will play Uganda Lady Cranes, if all goes according to the Women Elgon Cup plan,” said KRU Director in charge of Women rugby Moses Ndale.
”This is part of our plan as we look at the bigger picture which is the 15 Aside Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, that will be held in August this year.”
The first leg of the Franchise will take place on Sunday 28th April. Venue and order of play will be shared in subsequent communication.
World Rugby confirmed an exciting new qualification pathway for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 which has universality and opportunity at heart.
The pathway for teams who have not automatically qualified, offers opportunities for more unions to secure a place at the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 with the addition of a Repechage tournament for the first time in the competition’s history.
Kenya will have a chance to compete in their first ever Women's Rugby World Cup may they win continental showpiece set for August according to World Rugby. If they miss direct qualification, Kenya will have a chance through the repechage tournament via a play-off between South America second-placed team.