Kenya will play several warm-up matches ahead of their crucial RWC repechage. Photo: @OfficialKRFU on twitter/Arigi Obiero

JOHANNESBURG – Kenya will play a British Army XV, Namibia, a Blue Bulls selection and Romania in their warm-up campaign ahead of the Rugby World Cup repechage qualifying tournament in Marseilles, France, in November.

The Kenyans hope to finish top of the four-team competition that includes Canada, Germany and Hong Kong, with the winners set to be the final team to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, albeit in the tough Pool B along with New Zealand, SA, Italy and Rugby Africa Gold Cup winners, Namibia.

So set on being properly prepared for the repechage tournament are the Kenyans, that they have said a polite 'thanks but no thanks” to Portugal as far as the African team's build-up is concerned.

Nairobi, Kenya will be the venue for three of the four warm-up games, against the British Army XV (October 7), Namibia (October 21) and the Blue Bulls semi-professional side six days later. 

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The final warm-up game against Romania will take place in Bucharest, Hungary on November 3.

The repechage tournament will take place in Marseilles from November 11-23.

The Simbas' New Zealand mentor Ian Snook expressed his delight with the build-up programme, saying: “I am excited because I think that one of our challenges during the Gold Cup was a lack of friendly matches.”

“The four-match build up will be the right sort of conditioning for the team ahead of the repechage tournament in France.”

Kenya finished second to Namibia in the 2018 Rugby African Gold Cup competitions with the men from Windhoek by virtue of being African winners, qualifying for their sixth consecutive World Cup tournament. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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