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Kenya Simbas hope to grab final Rugby World Cup spot in France

Nairobi, Tuesday


Kenya are hoping to clinch the final place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in next month’s play off tournament, coach Ian Snook said on Monday.

A Kenyan victory at the round-robin contest would mark the first time for the 15s team at the World Cup.

Head coach Snook said he regards first round opponents Canada as the strongest opponent in the four-team repechage, which gets underway at Marseille’s Stade Delort on November 11.

“They are all well-organised, well-prepared, and they are good quality sides at this level so no game over there is going to be easy,” Snook told AFP in Nairobi.

“Canada are obviously well prepared, they have been together for a while, they are a professional organisation and they will be backing themselves to go to the World Cup again.

“We will have to play well on the day because that’s what we are planning on doing, it will be a big task but nothing is impossible,” he said.

Kenya will feature in the play offs after losing 53-28 to Namibia in the African qualifiers in August, and Snook has brought in five players from the country’s seven-a-side team to bolster his 30-man squad.

“The sevens players have brought a good maturity to the squad. They are experienced people, they have been overseas, (they are) obviously quality players and so I think they have added an edge to the group and so we are looking forward,” Snook said.

After Canada, Kenya will face Hong Kong on November 17 and Germany a week later. The winner in Marseille will join reigning champions New Zealand as well as South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Pool B of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.    – AFP

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