16 teams will compete in the new Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) with an aim to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup starting later this year.
The top 16 teams based on the African ranking will compete in a single coordinated competition until the last two face each other in the final.
The first stage consists of a qualifying round: the teams ranked 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th will oppose the teams ranked 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, respectively, in a single match at home. The winner of each of these four matches will progress to the group phase.
In this second stage, the 12 teams are divided into 4 pools; inside each pool, the 3 teams play against each other in a home or away game. The winner of each group will progress to the final tournament of the RAC. The top four teams from Africa will meet in one venue for the final stage of the RAC, which will include two semi-finals, a play-off for third place and, ultimately, the final to decide who will be the African champions.
Between the elimination series, the group rounds and the final tournament, there will be a total of twenty matches spread over up to sixteen different host countries across Africa.
Current African rankings (Men’s senior, Rugby Union) used as a basis for the Rugby Africa Cup :
10. Côte d’Ivoire
Elimination stage: November 2019 – 4 single matches
23 November: Côte d’Ivoire vs Rwanda in Abidjan / Ghana vs Botswana in Ghana
30 November: Senegal vs Mauritius in Dakar
1 December: Madagascar vs Nigeria in Antananarivo
Group stage: From June 2020 onwards – 3 matches per group, 12 in total
Group A: Namibia, Zambia, Winner of the match Madagascar vs Nigeria
Group B: Kenya, Morocco, Winner of the match Côte d’Ivoire vs Rwanda
Group C: Uganda, Algeria, Winner of the match Senegal vs Mauritius
Group D: Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Winner of the match Ghana vs Botswana
Final stage: July to August 2020 – 4 matches
Semi-final 1: Group A Winner vs Group D Winner
Semi-final 2: Group B Winner vs Group C Winner
Play-off for 3rd place: Loser of semi-final 1 vs Loser of semi-final 2
Grand final: Winner of Semi-final 1 vs Winner of semi-final 2
Story by APO