Kenya and Zimbabwe will play in South Africa’s Currie Cup this season as the two countries prepare for 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Kenya’ Simbas and Zimbabwe’s Sables will be part of an eight-team African qualifying tournament which will be held in France in July, with just the winners being guaranteed a spot at next year’s finals.
Before that the pair will participate in the Currie Cup First Division, the second tier of the local competition in South Africa, which is due to commence in April and culminate in June.
The two African nations will be joined by Rugby Europe Championship side Georgia and seven local provincial teams; defending champions the Leopards, Griffons, South Western Districts, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and the Valke.
Kenya are looking for their first ever appearance at the World Cup, having narrowly missed out on a place in Japan in 2019.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will aim to qualify for a third time, having been present at the first two editions of the tournament in 1987 and 1991.
Should either nation qualify for the World Cup, they will be in Pool A alongside hosts France, three-time winners New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay.
The runners-up at the African qualifier in July will have another chance to reach the World Cup via a final four-team tournament in November.