NAIROBI, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will join host Rwanda and three other African countries in the annual regional east and central Africa youth rugby tournament in Kigali on Saturday.
The tournament is open to young players aged 15-18 year old. Abdelaziz Bougja, president of Rugby Africa, says the tournament will help promote the sport in the region.
Alongside Kenya and Rwanda, other teams are Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.
The tournament will be a major exposure tour for the Kenya team, which missed out on the Africa Youth Games in Algeria.
"Rugby is a booming sport on the African continent. The regional tourney promises to be a great success," said the Africa boss.
This year's tournament has a theme of "Connect to Africa" and "Friends of Rwandan Rugby" and will be marking its third annual edition designed to foster international competition.
"This is a very exciting time for Rwandan rugby. We have been growing the rate of participation in our schools for more than a decade. It will be wonderful to again gauge our progress against other teams from the region. It will be great to see our players make friendship with rugby players from other countries and recognize that there is major participation happening on other parts of the continent," said Kamanda Tharcisse, the Rwanda Rugby Federation Secretary General.
Meanwhile, Namibia will join giants South Africa as continental representatives at the World Cup in Japan in 2019.
The Namibian side beat Kenya in the final of the Gold Cup to secure their ticket to join South Africa in Pool B at the World Cup.
Keya still have a chance to sail through and claim the final spot in the 24-team World Cup should they navigate through the Repechage tourney in Marseille, France in November where they are up against other continental losers Canada, Hong Kong and Germany.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup was played in fifteen matches in six African countries, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
"We are very proud of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. It is a tournament that unites the whole of Africa around the values of rugby," said Abdelaziz Bougja, president of Rugby Africa.
The final of the Rugby Africa Silver Cup on October 20 in Lusaka between hosts Zambia and Algeria will determine which team will be promoted to the Gold Cup competition next year. Enditem