The Rugby Africa Gold Cup is the perpetual trophy awarded to the winner of the Africa Gold Cup, a qualifier for the Rugby World Cup organised by World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa, since 2000.
The Africa Cup, controlled by Rugby Africa (CAR), will be the regional qualification tournament for Rugby World Cup 2019.
The first qualifying round was the 2016 1B and 1C Divisions. The winner of Division 1C was promoted to 1B and the second round of qualifying, while the team placed bottom in 1B was relegated and eliminated from Rugby World Cup contention.
Similarly, 2017 saw Divisions 1A (Gold Cup) and 1B (Silver Cup) act as Round 2. The winner of the 2017 Silver Cup advanced to the Gold Cup for 2018 and remain in contention, while the loser of the 2017 Gold Cup was relegated to the 2018 Silver Cup and eliminated from Rugby World Cup contention.
In Round 3, the winners of the 2018 Gold Cup will qualify for the World Cup as 'Africa 1', while the runner-up, 'Africa 2' will advance to the Repechage tournament as the African representative.
Fourteen teams competed during for the 2019 Rugby World Cup – African qualification; teams world rankings are prior to the first African qualification match on 12 June 2016 and bold nations denotes teams have previously played in a Rugby World Cup.
The first round consisted of ten matches between 10 teams. The winner of the Africa Cup Division 1C, Morocco, advanced to the second round and was promoted to division 1B for 2017, while the two winners of division 1B, Senegal and Tunisia, advanced to division 1A.
Africa Cup Division 1B was contested by six teams, in a two-group round-robin tournament. Pool 1 was held in Monastir, Tunisia, while Pool 2 was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The team with the worst record was relegated to Division 1C in 2017, and thus eliminated from qualification.
Africa Cup Division 1C was contested by three teams in a round-robin tournament. Cameroon were meant to compete but withdrew from the tournament after it was rescheduled for a later date. The tournament was held in Casablanca, Morocco.
The second round will see the five highest finishers of the six teams in the Gold Cup, Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, progress to the 2018 Gold Cup, with the last place side, Senegal, relegated to the Silver Division and eliminated from World Cup qualification. The Winner of Silver Cup, Morocco, was the first team to earn their place in the 2018 Gold Cup.
Six teams will contest the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup and the final round of the African qualification, with the winner qualifying as Africa 1. The second placed team, Africa 2, will advance to the repechage tournament.