Teams prepare for inaugural African Championship
May 23, 2000

The inaugural African Rugby Championship begins on June 17th 2000.

The competition consists of six teams and is divided into two sections - North and South.

North: Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tunisia
South: South Africa U'23, Namibia and Zimbabwe

The Championship starts with South Africa U'23 v Zimbabwe in Pretoria on June 17th.
Followed by: June 24th, South Africa U'23 v Namibia, Bloemfontein
July 1st, Zimbabwe v Namibia, Harare
July 8th, Namibia v South Africa U'23, Windhoek
July 15th, Zimbabwe v South Africa U'23, Harare
July 22nd, Namibia v Zimbabwe, Windhoek

Matches in the North Section of the African Championship will be played in September and October with dates and venues to be finalised.

Johan Botes, the new General Secretary of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR), said "It is of the utmost importance that rugby is developed at all levels in Africa and this Championship will kick start the rest of development programmes involving junior rugby, coaches and referees." Botes an experienced administrator who spent the last 20 years working for the Orange Free State Rugby Union, the last two as the CEO.

The IRB has welcomed this announcement as a positive step forward in African rugby, Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Baines, said "The International Board has committed sterling £100,000 to a competition for the top six African countries and looks forward to a series of matches that should help raise the standards of playing, coaching, refereeing and administration in these Unions. It is hoped that a competition for the other Unions in Africa will be introduced next year."

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