Rugby Africa Cup 2020 Shines in New Light for Players, Teams and Spectators

In June this year, Rugby Africa announced the new format of the Rugby Africa Cup (RAC); a modernized and more inclusive set up of the continental championship to revamp the attractiveness of the game. At the same time the elimination stage was a digital testing period for a new content strategy and distribution.

The new format allows for more teams to compete and gives them the opportunity to gain valuable match experience. Ghana, Botswana, Rwanda and Nigeria have competed in the former Bronze Cup, and it was the first time the teams have competed against significantly higher ranked teams. Ghana secured a spot in the group phase together with Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Madagascar. The 12 participating teams in the RAC 2020 group stage are (in current ranking order): Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Morocco, Zambia, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana.

For the rugby fans, free live streaming was available on the Rugby Africa Facebook page and Youtube channel. It included replays, highlights and high-level commentaries. The rugby commentators consisted of a team of experienced journalists with a great passion for sports in Africa.

Another new feature was the introduction of the “Man of the Match”. Each man of the match was featured in the official match report and key visuals were created for fan engagement on social media.

The first results of the digital testing period for the RAC 2020 saw record breaking reach and engagement rates on Rugby Africa’s social media platforms. Facebook was used as the primary driver and showed a 68% increase in reach and 95% increase in page likes when compared to previous periods. The spin-off content from the matches was organically picked up and shared on multiple pages allowing for great global awareness.

Andrew Owor, Vice President of Rugby Africa, is pleased with the results of the elimination stage: “The new format, supported by a digital broadcast and content strategy, worked out incredibly well. But more than that, the RAC is a stage for nation starters, developers and experienced teams. The first results show that we can share and spread the rugby passion on a new level. This is a great opportunity to showcase the talent that we have. We can present the participating rugby nations internationally and this will create more awareness, increase the visibility of rugby and in the long run further professionalise structures. Our goal is to develop rugby in Africa so it can unfold its greatest potential and showcase African rugby as an emerging market. We are confident that we will be able to attract sponsors with the right content. We saw an impressive crowd of 22’000 fans in the stadium in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and this is the vibe we wish to convey and achieve across the continent.”

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman of the APO Group, Rugby Africa’s Main Official Partner said: “Rugby is developing at an unprecedented pace in Africa and is now the fastest growing sport on the continent. South Africa’s Rugby World Cup victory boosted the popularity of the sport all over Africa and will result in attracting more players, more fans and eventually, more sponsors. As the Main Official Partner of Rugby Africa and leading press release distribution services in Africa, we are proud to make sure the international media now have access to the press releases issued by almost all African rugby federations, including Mauritania, Togo, DRC, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tunisia, Morocco, Botswana, Algeria, Burundi, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, Gabon and more.”

Ranking RAC 2020 (after the elimination stage based on the best goal average):
13. Botswana – 11 points
14. Rwanda – 57 points
15. Nigeria – 60 points
16. Mauritius – 63 points

Recorded matches:
Botswana 36 – 25 Ghana (23 November) 
Côte d’Ivoire 60 – 3 Rwanda (23 November) 

Senegal 63 – 0 Mauritius (30 November) 
Madagascar 63 – 3 Nigeria (1 December)

Pool Round RAC 2020:
Group A: Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar
Group B: Kenya, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire
Group C: Uganda, Algeria, Senegal
Group D: Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Ghana

30 May 2020:
Group A: Namibia vs Zambia in Namibia
Group B: Kenya vs Morocco in Kenya 

6 June 2020:
Group C: Uganda vs Algeria in Uganda
Group D: Tunisia vs Zimbabwe in Tunisia

13 June 2020:
Group A: Zambia vs Madagascar in Zambia
Group B: Morocco vs Côte d’Ivoire in Morocco

20 June 2020:
Group C: Algeria vs Senegal in Algeria
Group D: Zimbabwe vs Ghana in Zimbabwe

27 June 2020:
Group B: Côte d’Ivoire or Rwanda vs Kenya in Côte d’Ivoire

28 June 2020:
Group A: Madagascar vs Namibia in Madagascar

4 July 2020:
Group C: Senegal vs Uganda in Senegal
Group D: Ghana vs Tunisia in Ghana

Final tournament in a single venue to be determined:
29 July: Semi- finals
1 August: Third place play-off and final


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