Video PlayerClose NAIROBI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's 15s team will weather the storm and qualify for its maiden World Cup despite missing out on the automatic Africa ticket to rivals Namibia. Head coach Ian Snook regrets losing his first game since taking over in February, but remained adamant that his mission to guide the team to its inaugural World Cup in Japan in 2019 is still attainable. "I have great pride in the team. They have shown their ability and gave everything despite losing to Namibia 53-28. Nobody can question their commitment. We lost our shape a bit in decision making and played much into their hands, but we gave absolutely everything on the pitch," coach Snook said Wednesday in Nairobi. The East African nation will now have to rebuild and face losers from three other regions Germany (Europe), Canada (Americas) and Hong Kong, China (Asia) for the four-team repechage tournament in Marseille, France in Nov. Kenya has played against both Germany and Hong Kong, China … [Read more...] about Kenya turns focus on repechage tourney for rugby World Cup ticket
1995 rugby world cup
Clips of Faf de Klerk cavorting about the South Africa dressing room in his patriotic ‘budgie smugglers’ and Frans Steyn encouraging Prince Harry to chug bottles of beer had hardly had time to circulate on social media before attention turned to the future. The Springboks’ historic victory over England in Saturday’s World Cup final in Yokohama was a wonderful, historic moment for rugby. And for South Africa as a nation. The sight of Siya Kolisi, the Springboks’ first black captain, leading his multi-racial team in the post-match celebrations was an image to compare with Nelson Mandela congratulating Francois Pienaar all those years ago. Indeed, speaking at the world rugby awards, Pienaar described... … [Read more...] about ‘Planning for the Lions begins now’: South Africa are already shaping next phase to build on World Cup glory
Dylan Hartley will have to regain the trust of Stuart Lancaster if his international career is not to end on 66 caps having been told he would not be in England’s World Cup squad after picking up his fifth suspension in three years. The Northampton hooker and captain received a four-match ban on Wednesday for striking his Saracens opposite number Jamie George during the Premiership semi-final. It covered the opening match of the World Cup against Fiji, forcing Lancaster to replace him in the England training squad with George five months after the head coach had supported Hartley when he was sent off against Leicester for elbowing Matt Smith. “There comes a point with a player when you think the message is not getting through,” said Lancaster, when asked whether he felt his trust in Hartley, who was the most capped player in the training squad, over the years had been misplaced. “Dylan has two or three years at least left in him at the highest level. It is down … [Read more...] about England drop Northampton’s Dylan Hartley from World Cup training squad
Prior to the start of the World Cup in Russia, we analysed 88 years of data to determine whether the tournament is as exciting as it used to be. In the main, games are featuring fewer and fewer goals but have become tighter over time as weaker opposition has improved. Tighter games can be exciting or stultifying depending on the style of play - as in 2010 when Spain endlessly passed their way to glory. Brazil 2014 was identified as an improvement on its predecessors in this regard with counter-attacking on the rise and players like James Rodriguez being able to affect games with moments of brilliance that deservedly allowed their teams to progress. So how does Russia 2018 fare when it comes to the cold hard stats? And what could this mean for Qatar 2022? … [Read more...] about The 2018 World Cup contained some incredibly exciting football – that bodes well for Qatar 2022
The battle smoke drifting over the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes obscured a disquieting reality. England are currently not playing well enough to win this World Cup. Now that the Great Rotation has delivered them to a quarter-final against Norway in Le Havre, all known logic suggests Phil Neville needs to decide on his best starting XI and work with them intensively. It may already be too late to bring England up a level from toughness, tenacity, and grinding out wins, which they have been doing throughout four games in France, because Norway present a formidable challenge. The quarter-finals, though, would be a good time for Neville’s squad to acquire the rhythm and accuracy of passing that characterises the best teams at this tournament. After a chaotic 3-0 win against Cameroon, many of England’s followers repaired to local bars to watch France knock out Brazil in a game that displayed a level Norway’s opponents on Thursday have yet to consistently match. Strike … [Read more...] about England are not playing well enough to win this World Cup – when will Phil Neville decide his best XI?