The Rugby Africa Cup 2022, which doubles as the final round of Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying for teams on the continent, will take place in France between 1-10 July, 2022. The tournament will be held at Stade Maurice-David in Aix-en-Provence and Stade Pierre-Delort in Marseille, which hosted the RWC 2019 Final Qualification Tournament.
The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.
Whoever finishes as runners-up following the much-anticipated Rugby Africa Cup 2022 final on 10 July will still have a chance of qualifying for RWC 2023 through the Final Qualification Tournament.
Following the Rugby Africa Cup Repechage 2021, the Rugby Africa Cup pool stage was held in July, 2021 and determined the eight teams who make up the quarter-final line-up in France.
Namibia, who are bidding to reach a seventh successive Rugby World Cup, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe qualified for the quarter-finals as pool winners.
They have been joined in the last eight by pool runners-up Burkina Faso, Algeria, Kenya and Ivory Coast.
Burkina Faso, the lowest competing nation on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini at 91, will take on Namibia, while Senegal play Algeria, Uganda face Kenya and Zimbabwe are scheduled to meet Ivory Coast between 1-2 July.
The winner of the quarter-final between Namibia and Burkina Faso will meet either Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast – who have appeared at three Rugby World Cups between them – in the semi-finals.
Either Senegal or Algeria will then play the winner of the quarter-final between Uganda and East Africa rivals Kenya for a place in the final.
A bronze final, as well as fifth-place and seventh-place play-offs, will be held on 10 July prior to the final, in which Africa’s representative at RWC 2023 will be decided.
"The Rugby Africa Cup 2022 is a milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 and will be a magnificent celebration ahead of time in France and a great opportunity to contribute to the development of African rugby,” France 2023 CEO Claude Atcher said.
“I am proud to organise this competition in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France bathed by the Mediterranean Sea and turned towards Africa.
“We want to honour the emerging rugby unions, who are changing our sport and represent the strength of tomorrow.”
Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou added: “I am looking forward to organising an outstanding Rugby Africa Cup in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
“Playing this competition in the host country of the next Rugby World Cup will highlight the technical and physical skills of our best African players and will contribute to the development of rugby on our continent.
“This commitment to France 2023 will serve as a model for new competitions, especially with young people and women.”
Local authorities supporting the event include Région Sud, Ville de Marseille and Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence | Pays d’Aix.