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Could Kenya play the All Blacks at the World Cup?

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rugbyworldcup.com     06 Jul 2014     Getty Images

By avoiding defeat against Zimbabwe in the final round of Confederation Africaine de Rugby Africa Cup Division 1A matches in Antananarivo on Sunday Kenya would confirm their place at England 2015 – the nation’s first appearance on Rugby’s greatest stage.

The Africa Cup champions will join champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C and for Kayange, a star of the Sevens circuit, qualification would be a career highlight.

“Qualifying would mean an awful lot to Kenya, the team and our fans, who are amazing. It would be like a dream come true to play New Zealand in the Pool stages and face the Haka – it is something that we dream about," Kayange said.

“We have come close a couple of times in the past, but we came into this tournament aiming to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015 and we have the chance to do that on Sunday.”

Zimbabwe’s 24-20 defeat to Namibia on Wednesday means that it is mathematically possible for all three teams to finish top of the table going into Super Sunday.

To have any hope of winning the title, Namibia, Rugby World Cup ever-presents since 1999, need to take maximum points from their clash with bottom-of-the-table Madagascar and hope Zimbabwe beat Kenya with neither side picking up a bonus point in the process.

Kayange acknowledges that while it is all to play for, Kenya are very much in the driving seat.

“We played well in the first two games, getting two wins, which puts us in a good position heading into the final round of matches," he said.

“Zimbabwe are a big team who will come at us hard and the key for us is composure, to keep focused and to ensure that we get the points that we require.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Director of Rugby Liam Middleton believes that his side's destiny is in their hands as the Sables aim for a first Rugby World Cup appearance since 1991.

"We know what we have to do and how we are going to approach the match and qualification is in our hands. We need to win and win well."

Namibia team manager William Steenkamp believes the approach is simple - win well and hope that the other result is favourable: "We are still in the race and we need to produce a very good performance to be in with a chance of progressing."

Kenya v Zimbabwe

Kenya (1-15): Joseph Kang’ethe, Samuel Warui, James Kang’ethe, Oliver Mang’eni, Wilson K’Opondo (captain), Brian Nyikuli, Michael Okombe, Martin Owila, Edward Achayo, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Patrice Agunda, Humphrey Kayange, Michael Agevi, Tonny Onyango,
Zimbabwe: Denford Mutamangira, Leith Murray, Kevin Nquindi, Schalk Ferreira, Sanele Sibanda, Graeme Lawler, Jaques Leitao, Lambert Groenewald, Hilton Mudariki, Guy Cronje, Stephan Hunduza, Daniel Hondo (captain), Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Tangai Nemadire.

Referee: Lourans Van der Merve (SARFU)