Kenya have won the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy after a 28-13 victory over Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday.

It was the Chipu’s third straight win of the competition and they qualify for the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024, held in Scotland from 2-17 July, as champions of their region.

They will face tournament debutants the Netherlands and 2023 runners-up Uruguay in Pool B with the final place to be taken by the winner of the USA-Canada play-off.

The line-up for Pool A was decided at the beginning of March when Samoa claimed the Oceania ticket to join Scotland, Japan – the side relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 – and the Asian qualifier Hong Kong China.

Both Kenya and the Junior Sables were unbeaten going into the final round of matches following earlier wins over Tunisia and Namibia. 

Tournament hosts Zimbabwe started the brightest as they attempted to win their third straight African U20 title, racing into a 10-0 lead after unconverted tries from Tawana Nyashabwane and Edward Sigauke.

But tries from Iddo Kuta, Michael Wamalwa – with his fourth of the tournament – and Patrick Wainaina with a conversion from James Olela put the Chipu into a 17-10 lead at the break.

Penalties were then traded before captain Andy Cole Omolo barged over to make the score 25-13 to the Chipu.

Phil Okeyo put the result doubt when he kicked a penalty five minutes from time as the Chipu reclaimed the trophy they last won in 2021.

“This game could have gone either way but it went our way. The boys followed the script to the letter. We put in the work on our set pieces, it showed in the match and the results speak for themselves,” said Kenya’s relieved head coach Simon Jawichre.