Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook is excited about the opportunities his players would get if they were to qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Speaking to World Rugby media, Snook is under no illusions about the impact that getting to Rugby World Cup 2019 would not only have on rugby back home but on the lives of the individual Simbas players.
“I am excited for the opportunities it would provide for the players. To perform on the big stage will expose them to clubs all over the world and believe me there are plenty who could be playing in Europe or Japan as quality professionals,” he said.
Kenya arrived in France on Thursday after a week in Romania that saw them play Romania A as well as train with Bucharest Rugby Club.
A repechage, of one form or other, has been used to determine qualifiers for a Rugby World Cup since the 1999 tournament hosted by Wales. However, this is the first time that a round-robin event in one location has been used.
Playing in the repechage will be a new experience for all the teams(Canada, Germany and Kenya) bar Hong Kong, who fell at the first stage of the RWC 2015 pathway in 2014, losing 28-3 to hosts Uruguay.
For Canada, ever-presents on the Rugby World Cup stage since the inaugural tournament in 1987, failure to qualify is unthinkable.
But Aaron Carpenter, Canada’s most-capped player in history, has every faith that the Canucks will book the final ticket to Japan 2019 and take their place alongside defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Pool B.
“Since spending three weeks with the team (as an assistant coach) at the Americas Pacific Challenge, I can see how much hard work has been going on behind the scenes.
“It would be a real setback if Canada didn’t make it to the World Cup. But all of Canadian rugby is 100 per cent behind the boys and I have complete faith that the current team of coaches, medical staff and players involved in the repechage will get the job done.”