Kenya, Zimbabwe and Georgia Added to Currie Cup, Using It as Preparation for Rugby World Cup Qualification

Kenya, Zimbabwe and Georgia Added to Currie Cup, Using It as Preparation for Rugby World Cup Qualification

  • Tier two rugby nations will get much-needed leg room to express themselves on the international stage via South Africa
  • Kenya, Zimbabwe and Georgia will participate in this season's Currie Cup First Division, which is set to start in April
  • The tournament will help these nations in their preparations for the qualification phase of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which will be hosted by France

In a much-needed boost for tier-two African and European rugby, Kenya Zimbabwe and Georgia will participate in this season's Currie Cup.

The South African Rugby Union made the announcement, meaning that these nations will compete against seven other teams in the first division of the competition. It kicks off on 01 April, and will run until the weekend of 24 or 25 June, with each team playing each other once.

kenya, zimbabwe, south africa, georgia, currie cup, springboks, 2023, rugby world cup
Georgia is familiar with local conditions, having taken on the Springboks in a Test series last year. Image source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

According to Supersport.com, the idea is for the international guests to play enough high quality opposition found in South Africa, to better prepare them for the qualification phase of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

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Kenya and Zimbabwe will field full-strength teams in the Currie Cup, but Georgia must rely on local-based stars as many first choices are unavailable due to club commitments in France.

Kenya is not new to local competitions, having participated in the now defunct Vodacom Cup back in 2014, according to ESPN. They had replaced another international team in the Pampas XV, Argentina's developmental rugby team, which participated in the competition from 2010 to 2013.

Georgia lead the 2021-2022 Rugby European Championship by nine points from Romania and the top two finishers secure World Cup places.

Kenya and Zimbabwe are among eight countries playing in the 2022 Africa Cup in France from 01 July, with the winners qualifying for the World Cup and the runners-up entering an inter-continent repêchage tournament.

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As reported on Sports Brief, the reigning world champions are still very much intent on joining the Six Nations from 2025.

South Africa has been wooed by European rugby entities for a while now and has already sent teams into the United Rugby Championship as a starter.

Source: Sports Brief News