What you need to know:
- Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja praised his charges for their brave show to secure their place in the inaugural World Rugby WXV 3 competition.
- “The girls have shown great mental resilience and played structured rugby throughout the week-long tournament,” said Mwanja.
Kenya Lionesses have qualified for the Women’s World Rugby 15s Third Tier (WXV 3) after they finished second in the Women’s Rugby Africa Cup Championship that ended in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Sunday.
Kenya crushed Cameroon 52-3 in their last duel of the continental cup at Stade Makis to wrap up their campaign with two wins and a loss.
The Lionesses began their campaign with a 29-20 win over hosts Madagascar on May 20 before losing to eventual winners South Africa 48-0 on May 24.
South Africa were ruthless in their campaign, beating the home team 79-8 in their last match on Sunday, having thrashed Cameroon 87-0 in their opening duel for a clean run.
South Africa proceeds to Women’s World Rugby 15s Second Tier (WXV 2), while Kenya Lionesses join Ireland and Kazakhstan in WXV 3 that will take place in October this year.
Teams that will participate in 2023 WXV3 will be two from Europe and one each from Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America. Kenya, Ireland and Kazakhstan will be joined by either Italy or Spain and one each from Oceania and South America.
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga will then contest the Oceania Rugby Women’s 15s Championship in Brisbane, Australia, between May 26 and June 4.
The winner will take their place in WXV 2 with the runners-up representing Oceania in WXV 3.
South America’s representatives in the first year of WXV will be either Brazil or Colombia, who will meet in a two-leg play-off in July. The winner will qualify for WXV 3 in 2023.
World Rugby has come up with four competitions to develop women’s 15s rugby around the world ahead of the 2025 Rugby World Cup- the Six Nations, WXV Tier One, WXV Tier Two and WXV Tier Three Championships.
Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja praised his charges for their brave show to secure their place in the inaugural World Rugby WXV 3 competition.
“The girls have shown great mental resilience and played structured rugby throughout the week-long tournament,” said Mwanja, adding that the WXV 3 will further expose the team to quality rugby that will build a good platform not only for the 15s game but also sevens.
However, Mwanja said that his team has a lot to improve on ahead of the WXV 3 in October.
“Our ball handling especially under pressure should be neat and more so our defensive systems,” said Mwanja.
Against Cameroon, player-of-the-match centre Grace Adhiambo landed a hat-trick of tries as lock Nelly Chikombe, scrum-half Judith Ouma, backrow Phoebe Akinyi and winger Stella Wafula touched down one try each for the victory.