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Kenya Simbas drop to global repechage
By Eric Njiru | Sun 19 Aug, 2018 20:45

After failing to gain a direct qualification to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Kenya Simbas have a second and last chance to do so -through a four team global repechage to be held at Stade Delort in Marseille, France during the November tests period. 

Kenya lost 53-28 to Namibia in the last Africa Gold Cup with the latter qualifying directly to Japan 2019. 

Kenya, Canada, Hong Kong and Germany will compete in the round-robin format event to be played across three match days on Sunday 11 November, Saturday 17 November and Friday 23 November, 2018. 

The repechage tournament will be played on a round-robin basis, with the winner automatically claiming the 20th and final ticket to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. 

The repechage tournament is a new concept for Rugby World Cup qualification and represents the last opportunity for a team to qualify for Japan 2019 with four nations fighting it out to secure the 20th and final place at the Rugby World Cup. 

The winner of the repechage will slot into Pool B at RWC 2019 that has defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia -Africa region winner meaning Kenya and Namibia could meet in Japan may the Simbas win the repechage. 

The Stade Delort in Marseille is a 5,000 capacity venue which has previously hosted rugby and major sports events in France’s second largest city in the Provence region. 

History between the four sides

Kenya has met Germany and Hong Kong before. Germany fly-half Chris Hilsenbeck's last-gasp chalked curling drop goal from the left spurred Germany to a 30-29 victory over Kenya Simbas in a thrilling International Test match at the RFUEA ground in 2017. 

In the same year, Kenya went down 40-30 to Hong Kong in the last match of Hong Kong Cup of nations played during the November test window. Hong Kong visited Nairobi in August 2017 winning 43-34 in the second test; the two sides had played to a 19-19 draw in the first match. 

Kenya played Hong Kong in 2016 and won 34-10. 

How other teams qualified for repechage
Hong Kong confirmed their place in the repechage with a convincing 77-3 aggregate victory over the Cook Islands. 
They joined Canada, who were confirmed in the repechage in February following their defeat to Uruguay in the Americas 2 play-off over two legs.  

The third team will be decided when Germany face Samoa in Heidelberg on Saturday (kick-off: 16:00 local time).

The third team was decided between Samoa and Germany where the winner, Samoa, qualified automatically for RWC 2019 as the Play-off Winner while the loser, Germany, entered the repechage. 

Eric Njiru
ericnjiru41@gmail.com 0726205521
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