WATCH: Kenya coach Ian Snook expects tough challenge from ex-Bok coach Peter de Villier's Zimbabwe

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Peter de Villiers at training with Zimbabwe

Simba Head Coach Ian Snook expects Zimbabwe, coached by Peter de Villiers, to pose a different kind of challenge when the two sides face off in Rugby Africa Gold Cup action at the RFUEA Ground on Saturday June 30.

Speaking at a news conference to unveil his match day 23 on Thursday morning, Snook said, “Zimbabwe bring a different challenge in that they are a fast, speedy side on the outside and are big and strong upfront.”

“They’ll pose a  slightly different challenge to what we had in Morocco. We are anticipating a fairly strong game from them.”

Kenya overcame Morocco 28-24 in Casablanca last time out.

Commenting on the return of Isaac Adimo and Darwin Mukidza’s positional switch, Snook said, “Isaac wasn’t available last week because of exams…he’s back and starts at 10.”

“Obviously we thought Darwin had a really good game at first five…we think he can play well at second five as Leo Seje is out injured.”

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Romania appeal Rugby World Cup disqualification

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Sione Fakaosilea in action for Romania

Romania are to appeal a World Rugby ruling that saw them disqualified from next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Russia were awarded a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan after the rugby union international governing body sensationally disqualified Romania, Spain and Belgium on Tuesday.

Russia had finished third in European qualifying for the Rugby World Cup but head to the tournament after Romania, who originally won the section, second-placed Spain and fourth-placed Belgium were all docked points for fielding ineligible players.

In Romania’s case, World Rugby said Sione Faka’osilea was ineligible having previously played for the Tonga sevens team.

The Romanian Rugby Federation insisted Wednesday that Faka’osilea was indeed eligible, having had confirmation from Tonga rugby federation president Fe’ao Vunipola, father of England internationals Billy and Mako, to that note.

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Russia qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup as Spain, Romania and Belgium kicked out due to ineligible players

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Spanish and Belgium players brawl after their controversial RWC qualifier

Russia have been awarded a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan after World Rugby sensationally disqualified Spain, Romania and Belgium, the rugby union international governing body said on Tuesday.

Russia had finished third in European qualifying for the RWC but head to the tournament after Romania, who originally won the section, second-placed Spain and fourth-placed Belgium were all docked points for fielding ineligible players.

“World Rugby notes the outcome of the independent disputes committee review into matters relating to the 2017 and 2018 Rugby Europe Championship, competitions that doubled as a Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification event,” said a statement issued on Tuesday.

“In line with the decision, Russia will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 as Europe 1, joining Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the play-off winner in Pool A, while Germany will progress to the European play-off with Portugal, subject to the appeals process.”

The controversy kicked off when Spain’s rugby federation (FER) demanded a rematch of their loss to Belgium, which ultimately allowed Romania to qualify at their expense for next year’s showpiece in Japan.

The FER pointed to several errors by the referee, Romanian Vlad Iordachescu, during an 18-10 defeat in Brussels in which the official had to be protected from irate Spanish players as he left the field.

World Rugby set up a disputes committee to examine Spain’s complaints.

But instead of vilifying Belgium, the committee revealed that Spain, Belgium and Romania had all fielded ineligible players during qualifying matches for the RWC.

Subsequently, Spain were docked 40 points with Romania and Belgium penalised 30 each – five points for every match in which an ineligible player appeared.

It meant that Russia won the group despite winning only half of their eight qualification matches, while Germany who lost six of theirs, were second and head into the play-offs.

All three sanctioned teams were fined from £50,000 to £125,000.

World Rugby said it is “extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events” and added: “Regulation 8 covering eligibility is essential to maintaining the unique characteristics and culture of elite competitions between unions, and the integrity of international matches depends on strict adherence to eligibility criteria set out in the regulation.

“The committee’s decision and findings clearly demonstrate issues with the processes adopted by some of the participating unions relating to the eligibility of players as well as the delivery and organisation of the Rugby Europe Championship.”

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