Kenya Simbas will begin their campaign for a place in the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Morocco in Rugby Africa Gold Cup clash set for on June 23 in Casablanca.
The match will also double up as the qualifier for the global tournament.
The Simbas will host Zimbabwe in Nairobi on June 30 before again hosting neighbours Uganda on July 7. The championship will take a four-week break which has been occasioned by the Rugby World Cup Sevens set for July 20-22 in San Francisco, USA.
The chase for the continental title will resume on August 11 with the Simbas hosting Tunisia in Nairobi, but the team’s away match against Rugby Africa Gold Cup champions Namibia on August 11 could decide the winner of the tournament and Africa’s second representative at the 2019 World Cup after South Africa.
In a statement, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Monday said it has adjusted to the top-tier competition by restructuring the Kenya Cup which kicked off on Saturday to a one-off format.
The changes where the league will end on March 17 are aimed at allowing more time for the Simbas to prepare for the qualifiers.
Team manager Wangila Simiyu has said Kenya Simbas might have lost of their matches to Chile, Hong Kong and Russia at the Hong Kong Cup of Nations but it has high chances of qualifying for the World Cup.
“We were able to know where we need to improve. It will depend on how we prepare and the resources available to us,” said Wangila, adding that Namibia would be Kenya’s main challengers in the qualifiers.
Kenya Simbas' Fixtures
Kenya v Morocco-June 23 (Away)
Kenya v Zimbabwe -June 30 (Home)
Kenya v Uganda -July 7 (Home)
Kenya v Tunisia -August 11 (Home)
Kenya v Namibia-August 18 (Away)