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Kenya gears up for repechage tourney to Rugby World Cup 2019

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-11-08 09:46

NAIROBI - Kenya 15s team head coach Ian Snook said Wednesday that his team is in high spirit ahead of the repechage tournament of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Kenya's 15s rugby team players take part in their last training session at the Impala club in Nairobi, on Oct 30, 2018, ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup play-off tournament which will be held from Nov 11 to Nov 23, 2018 in Marseille. [Photo/VCG]

Kenya will take on Canada and Germany in the repechage which starts in Marseille, France from Nov 11-23.

"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," said Snook.

The winner of the round robin format play will secure the final ticket to the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

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 World Rugby is using a round-robin event in one location to select the winner to join the other 19 teams that have already been confirmed.

"The players have a lot to learn and this is what we want because when you play against big teams often, you gain," said Snook.

Kenya has been pitching camp in Romania for a buildup contest against the host, where they lost 36-5 in Bucharest.

However, coach Snook has warned his opponents not to look down upon Kenya's prospects in the repechage as they target to stage a surprise performance and seal their first ever ticket to the World Cup.

Kenya lost out to Namibia in Africa Gold Cup to miss the automatic ticket from continental qualification while Canada finished third behind USA and Argentina in their America's tourney.

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