In an announcement made today, World Rugby has confirmed France as the host nation for the Repechage tournament, which is meant to determine the 20th participant of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
France are just coming off a successfully hosted U20 World Rugby Championships which they won, as they also prepare to host the 2023 edition of the Rugby World Cup.
This tournament will comprise of four teams and will be played in round robin format over three game days to determine the winner. The teams will compete on Sunday 11th November, Saturday 17th November and Friday 23rd November 2018 at the Stade Delort in Marseille.
The winner of this tournament will fill the last spot in Group B, joining reigning champions New Zealand, African giants and 2007 champions South Africa, Italy and the Rugby Africa Gold Cup champions.
The third team to compete will be winner between Germany and Samoa, after the two have faced off on Saturday 14th July 2018 and the fourth participant will be the runners up of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. They will join Hong Kong who booked their place in the repechage after beating Cook Islands 77-03, and Canada who were losers against Uruguay in the Americas playoffs.
“The repechage tournament is going to be a very hotly contested event with the ultimate prize of a place at the Rugby World Cup at stake. Marseille can look forward to three matchdays of thrilling rugby between nations from four different continents. Following the outstanding success of the recent World Rugby U20 Championship in southern France, we are delighted to partner with the French Rugby Federation again to deliver this important tournament as France continues to advance its preparations for hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.
French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte said: “I am delighted that France will be hosting the repechage tournament for the Rugby World Cup 2019. It’s a very important event as four teams will compete in Marseille to get the last seat for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. By hosting this tournament, FFR reinforces its commitment to help develop rugby worldwide. It’s also a pretty glimpse to the Rugby World Cup #France2023. I wish to thank the SMUC Rugby which partners with FFR to ensure the success of such an event.”
With Namibia running away the Rugby Africa Gold Cup trophy, again, Kenya are in the fore front of making the repechage tournament as Africa 2 to compete against Hong Kong, Canada and the winner between Samoa and Germany this weekend. Uganda and Tunisia come closest to upsetting the Kenyans conquest of a repechage appearance with the possibility of maximum points from the games (3) the two nations have to play before the end of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. Mathematically, the chances that Uganda and Tunisia have and as slim and equivalent to those of Zimbabwe and Morocco in hoping to overlap the Kenyans.
Africa Gold Cup Standings as of July 7
1.Namibia 15 pts
2.Kenya 12 pts
3.Tunisia 4 pts
4.Morocco 3 pts
5.Zimbabwe 3 pts
6.Uganda 0 pts
August 4, 2018
Uganda vs Tunisia 3pm
Zimbabwe vs Namibia 5pm
Kenya vs Tunisia 2pm
Uganda vs Morocco 5pm
Uganda vs Zimbabwe 3pm
Namibia vs Kenya 5pm
Tunisia vs Morocco 7pm