Hosts South Africa and Kenya are now just one win away from securing the region’s qualification ticket to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand after maintaining their winning records on Tuesday in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Johannesburg.
South Africa and Kenya will meet in a winner-takes-all title decider in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2019 on Saturday 17 August with the victors qualifying for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.
Held at the Bosman Stadium, Kenya kicked off the second round of the inaugural competition with a seven-try, 37-5 victory over a Ugandan side that battled hard in a tight first half before succumbing to the Lionesses’ attacking prowess.
South Africa came up against a Madagascan side that showed plenty of promise in what was only their second test. The Springbok Women, however, ran in tries at regular intervals as well as keeping their opponents scoreless for the first time in more than nine years, securing a 75-0 victory.
The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup is the first opportunity for a team to qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 through the regional qualification route.
In April this year World Rugby announced details of a new qualification pathway for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 whereby non-qualified teams will compete in new and existing regional tournaments.
Regional tournaments will be hosted in Oceania, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America with the final opportunity for teams to qualify being through the new repechage tournament, which will be held in 2020.
Defending champions New Zealand, England, France, USA, Canada, Australia and Wales have already confirmed their places with a top seven placing at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017. The Rugby Africa Women’s Cup 2019 winner will join them, with the runner-up to face the winner of the South American competition next year for a place in the global repechage.
Hosted in New Zealand, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 will be the first time that the women’s tournament has been held in the southern hemisphere. After winning the 2017 event in Ireland, New Zealand will be looking to defend the title on home soil.
World Rugby is dedicated to growing the women’s game and recently launched a new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand identity and global campaign ‘Try and Stop Us’, aimed at driving increased participation and engagement among fans, audiences, players and investors in the women’s game.
Women’s rugby is one of sport’s great success stories, experiencing unprecedented growth around the world. Participation levels are at an all-time high with 2.7 million players globally – making up more than a quarter of the global playing population – and a 28 per cent increase in registered players since 2017.
Rugby Africa Women’s Cup fixtures
Bosman stadium, Brakpan, Johannesburg, South Africa
All times local time (GMT+2)
9 August, 2019
Madagascar 5-35 Kenya
South Africa 89-5 Uganda
13 August, 2019
Kenya 37-5 Uganda
Madagascar 0-75 South Africa
17 August, 2019
Madagascar vs Uganda, KO: 13:00
South Africa vs Kenya, KO: 15:00
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