Zimbabwe play Morocco in Harare on Saturday. Photo: @ZimbabweSables via Twitter

WINDHOEK – African nations are currently challenging for the Rugby Africa Gold Cup with four of the six competing teams in action in Windhoek and Harare on Saturday.

With vital Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019 qualifiers thrown into the mix, this weekend should produce some exciting games.

Namibia, title-holders for the last four years, begin their bid to make it through to a sixth consecutive RWC with a home game against Uganda while Zimbabwe play host to Morocco. 

Kenya, champions in 2011 and 2013, are not in action until June 23 when they face a trip to Morocco.

The overall winner of the region’s elite-level competition earns direct qualification to RWC 2019 and will line up Pool B as Africa 1.

The runners-up will proceed to play a global repechage tournament later in the year against sides from the Americas (Canada), Europe and Asia/Oceania for the final slot in Japan.

Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is spearheading Zimbabwe's bid to win their first elite African title in six years.

Two-time winners Morocco (2003 and 2005) beat Ivory Coast 8-3 to win the Silver Cup last year and promotion to the Gold Cup.

Only seven players survive from the Ugandan team beaten by Kenya last month in the first leg of the Elgon Cup, including captain and prop Asuman Mugerwa and vice-captain and winger Justin Kimono. 

The other returnees are second-rower Eliphaz Emong, openside Brian Asaba, winger James Odong, centre Pius Ogena and fullback Adrian Kasiito.

This weekend's fixtures are:

Saturday: Namibia v Uganda (Windhoek), Zimbabwe v Morocco (Harare). 

African News Agency (ANA)

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