The focus of world international test rugby zeros in on Africa. Probably the continent with the most potential for rugby expansion, African rugby is fraught with problems.
Travel is difficult, expensive and in some places non-existent. For a continent where most people live in poverty the cost of travel severely hampers international test rugby. Each rugby union has to find some of that money when their national test rugby side is required to travel to a tournament.
Miss management of funds within the unions can be a problem. In recent years the Namibian RU has come under fire from the IRB. Internal civil strife has created problems in Libya and Ivory Coast. Rugby at all levels came to a standstill in both those nations in 2011. For both Namibia and Ivory Coast the resulting absence from African rugby tournaments led to relegation from their respective divisions.
This month African rugby is on international display.The top level of African test rugby is divided into three divisions, 1A, 1B and 1C. There is promotion-relegation between each division.
Division 1A. July 8-14 Host Tunisia. Also-Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda
Semi-Finals 10 July
Kenya v Uganda
Tunisia v Zimbabwe
Final and 3rd Place 14 July
The winner holds the Africa Cup for 2012. The loser of playoff 3rd-4th is relegated to CAR Division 1B for 2013.
All matches at Jemmal
Division 1B. July 4-8. Host Madagascar. Also Namibia, Morocco and Senegal.
Semi-Finals 4 July
Madagascar v Morocco
Namibia v Senegal
Final and 3rd Place 8 July
Loser 1 v Loser 2 (Loser eliminated from 2015 RWC)
Winner 1 v Winner 2 (Winner promoted to 2013 Africa Cup)
Division 1C.July 22-28. Host Botswana
22 July 2012: Cameroun v Zambia; Botswana v Ivory Coast; Mauritius v Nigeria
25 July 2012: Ivory Coast v Mauritius; Zambia v Botswana; Nigeria v Cameroun
28 July 2012: Cameroun v Ivory Coast; Mauritius v Zambia; Botswana v Nigeria.