A strong revised programme of men’s test matches is set to take place in July after all unions and World Rugby agreed a revised schedule within the existing window. The revisions have been made recognising an ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture while aiming to limit further impact.
Kenya Simbas will play Senegal on 3 July in Nairobi in the RWC2023 qualifiers before travelling to Zambia on July 11.
The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa headlines a busy July programme that will see 25 of the top 30 ranked unions in action with several hosting or being hosted for the first time since the pandemic began, including world champions South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2019 hosts Japan.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause disruption, the underpinning principle for the schedule was the fixtures agreed in San Francisco in 2017. Where it was not possible or practical to honour that schedule, the hosting rights were reversed with key arrangements met. Where this contingency has not been possible for COVID-19 reasons, World Rugby has facilitated discussions to confirm an alternative schedule for teams consisting of a minimum of two matches for unions who sought replacement fixtures.
This means that Argentina, Japan, USA and Canada will now travel to the UK and Ireland, New Zealand will host tests against Fiji, and Georgia travel to South Africa. The Samoa versus Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier will also be hosted over two legs in New Zealand, creating a Pacific hub in the country across the July window. RWC 2023 qualifiers will also continue in Europe and get underway in Africa and South America.
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(Schedule details subject to union confirmation)
Rugby Africa Cup 2021/ RWC 2023 Qualifier
July 3, 2021
Namibia vs Ivory Coast
Kenya vs Senegal
July 7, 2021
Ivory Coast vs Madagascar
Senegal vs Zambia
July 10, 2021
Repechage RAC winner vs Tunisia
Uganda vs Ghana
July 11, 2021
Namibia vs Madagascar
Zambia vs Kenya
July 14, 2021
Ghana vs Algeria
Repechage RAC Winner vs Zimbabwe
July 18, 2021
Uganda vs Algeria
Tunisia vs Zimbabwe