NAIROBI, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — The Kenya 15s rugby team remains upbeat despite losing 36-5 to Romania in Bucharest in their final build up match ahead of the World Cup qualifier starting in Marseille, France from Nov. 11-23.
Head coach Ian Snook however rues lack of international friendlies, which would have put his side in better position to wrest the single slot reserved from the repechage tourney in Marseille against three other continental losers in Germany, Hong Kong of China and Canada.
Already 19 teams have booked their tickets to the World Cup with Africa having Gold Cup champions Namibia and South Africa. The final team to make 20 will be confirmed after the repechage tournament.
“Kenya has its challenges especially in professionalizing the sport. A lot of time, players have to fend for their own transport and that is not right. But these pool of players are talented and hardworking and with that they are capable of winning in France,” Snook said before leaving for Romania.
Snook says the bigger task of qualifying for the first ever World Cup will inspire the players as they now turn their focus to Canada, Hong Kong of China and Germany.
Kenya will open their campaign in the repechage against Canada on Nov. 11 before taking on Hong Kong on Nov. 17 and then wrap it up with a meeting with European giants Germany on Nov. 23.