What you need to know:
- Kenya will launch their campaign starting at the semi-final against Namibia while Zimbabwe will play Brazil all on November 14
- The final and play-offs for third and fourth places will be featured on November 20 with all matches being played at Stellenbosch Academy for Sports
- However, before the Stellenbosch Series, Kenya 15s will take on Carling Champion Team in the inaugural Champions Match on November 6 at Loftus Versfield Stadium, South Africa
Kenya 15s rugby team has been invited for the quadrangular tournament featuring Zimbabwe, Brazil and Namibia next month in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Kenya will launch their campaign starting at the semi-final against Namibia while Zimbabwe will play Brazil all on November 14.
The final and play-offs for third and fourth places will be featured on November 20 with all matches being played at Stellenbosch Academy for Sports.
However, before the Stellenbosch Series, Kenya 15s will take on Carling Champion Team in the inaugural Champions Match on November 6 at Loftus Versfield Stadium, South Africa.
The quadrangular tournament is organised by World Rugby to prepare Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup that will double up for the 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers due for France.
Namibia is the highest ranked African country outside South Africa in 25th position, followed by Zimbabwe (34) and Kenya (35). Brazil is ranked 26th.
Carling Champion Team consists of players selected by fans from any of the seven Carling Currie Cup Premier Division teams.
The match is a bold initiative between Carling Black Label, sponsor of the Currie Cup, and SA Rugby who have joined forces with the intention of recognizing and rewarding the champion voices of rugby fans – who will play selector for the match.
Accepting the invitation, Oduor Gangla, chairman of the Kenya Rugby Union said that they are greatly honoured by the invitation by South Africa Rugby Union (SARFU) to participate in the Carling Champions Cup.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for the Simbas to play against top-notch professional opponents even as we prepare for the international test matches coming up,” said Gangla, adding that the experience of such matches is priceless as Kenya prepares for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers next year.
“We look forward to an exciting start to our international window matches,” said Gangla.
“We’re delighted that our friends from Kenya have accepted the invitation,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARFU.
“The pandemic and our inclusion in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship presented a few challenges and it has been a Champion effort all round to arrive at this day. It’s great to have a fellow African rugby nation marking the inauguration of an event that we hope to see grow as the calendar settles down and fans return in due course,” said Roux.
Meanwhile Arné Rust, Carling Black Label Brand Director said they are thrilled that Kenya has accepted an invitation to be the opponents.
“We have seen how brilliant and exciting they have been on the Sevens circuit and we’re looking forward to having our Champion Team tested by them over 80 minutes,” said Rust disclosing that votes were streaming in from fans to name the SA team with more than 400,000 being received to date.
“The excitement for Black Label is being able to put the power to choose the ultimate Champion Team in the hands of our champion fans, basically making their ‘fantasy team’ dreams come true. And they have responded,” he said.
As the match falls in the international window and a break in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, players from the four teams competing in the tournament are also available for selection.