|Current season or competition:|
2018 Rugby Africa season
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup perpetual trophy
|Governing body||Rugby Africa|
|Most titles||Namibia (7 titles)|
The Africa Cup is an annual rugby union tournament involving African nations, organised by Rugby Africa. The tournament was first held in 2000, and has since been contested on an annual basis. Prior to being renamed the Africa Cup in 2006, the tournament was known as the CAR Top 9 and CAR Top 10.
Due to its too high level, South Africa is the best African nation. It did compete five times and won the competition three times. The Springboks aligned on these occasions were the under 23 or amateur players (in 2005, 2006 and 2007).
The African Cup of Rugby Union took place for the first time in 2000, with five teams taking part in the event, Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the hopes South Africa, the winner of the competition. In 2004, a second division called CAR Development Trophy and named now African Development Trophy, actually, it's reserved to U19 national teams. In 2006, the Africa Cup was coupled with the Rugby World Cup qualification, the winner qualified to the Rugby World Cup. In 2011, a Division 1A was created and in 2014, the division took place as a four-team championship.
The competition has several levels on past, with a system of promotion-relegation. The Africa Cup (level 1A), Division 1B and Division 1C.
Currently, levels were replaced with a same system of promotion-relegation by The Africa Gold Cup, Silver Cup, Bronze Cup and Regional Challenge.
As in previous Africa Cup seasons, all participating teams were divided into multiple tiers. For 2018, the tiers are as follows:
- Gold Cup: the tier 1 event. Five teams from 2017's Gold Cup – Kenya, Namibia, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe – were joined by the Silver Cup winner, Morocco. This competition will be played on a round-robin basis from 16 June to 18 August 2018.
- Silver Cup: the tier 2 event. The remaining three teams from the Silver Cup – Botswana, Ivory Coast and Madagascar – will be joined by three other teams and split in two divisions. 2017 Finalist Ivory Coast will compete in the North Division with relegated Gold cup team Senegal and Bronze Cup champion Algeria, while Botswana and Madagascar form the South Division with Bronze Cup finalist Zambia. The two divisions will play a round robin tournament from 8 July to 14 July, with the final being played on 25 August.
- Bronze Cup: the tier 3 event. The Bronze Cup consists of four teams. 2017 Bronze Cup teams Mauritius and Rwanda are joined by Regional Challenge winner Lesotho and new World Rugby full member Ghana. They will compete in a playoff in Accra from 9 May to 12 May.
- Regional Challenge: the lowest tier of African rugby. For 2018, up to twenty teams will compete in two sub-regional sevens tournaments in September for a chance to compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament in 2019.
In addition to the main fifteens tournaments, an Under-20 competition featuring eight teams was held in April and a rugby sevens tournament involving twelve teams was held in November. A women's rugby sevens tournament is also to be scheduled.
The following teams will take part in the 2018 Rugby Africa season.
Rankings are taken from the start of each division
|Gold Cup||Silver Cup||Bronze Cup|
|15 Sept||29 Sept|
|Burkina Faso||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Mali||Central African Republic|
Below is a list of previous tournaments and final results:
|2000||South Africa Amateurs||44–14||Morocco||Casablanca|
|2001||South Africa Amateurs||36–20||Morocco||Casablanca|
|2006||South Africa Amateurs||29–27||Namibia||Windhoek|
|2010||Not assigned *|
- ^n/a A round-robin tournament determined the final standings.
- ^* In the 2010 Africa Cup no outright winner was declared. Morocco beat Tunisia 29-6 in the final of the north section, whilst Kenya won the 2010 Victoria Cup in the south.
The overall record of the teams are as follows:
|Namibia||8 (2002, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)||2 (2003, 2006)|
|South Africa Amateurs||3 (2000, 2001, 2006)||0|
|Morocco||2 (2003, 2005)||3 (2000, 2001, 2004)|
|Kenya||2 (2011, 2013)||3 (2016, 2017, 2018)|
|Zimbabwe||1 (2012)||3 (2013, 2014, 2015)|
|Uganda||1 (2007)||1 (2012)|
|Tunisia||0||3 (2002, 2009, 2011)|
|Madagascar||0||2 (2005, 2007)|
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup perpetual trophy
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup is the perpetual trophy awarded to the winner of the Africa Cup (Africa Gold Cup), an annual rugby union tournament involving Africa's top six national 15-man teams (excluding South Africa), organised by World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa, since 2000.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup perpetual trophy – a Rugby World Cup qualifier – has been officially unveiled during the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Congress in Brussels on May 8, 2018, in the presence of Abdelaziz Bougja, President of Rugby Africa, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder of APO Group and main official partner of Rugby Africa, Gianni Merlo, President of the International Sports Press Association, AIPS [it], and Mitchell Obi, President of AIPS Africa.
It has been presented to the winner of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup for the first time in August 2018.
Prior to this date, each winner of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup received a trophy cup.
The back of the perpetual Trophy has been engraved with the text "Presented by Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder of APO Group; Abdelaziz Bougja, President of Rugby Africa". It's estimated there is enough space for seventy (70) more winning teams' names to be engraved on the base of the perpetual trophy and that it will be used until – at least – the year 2080.
Handmade by Swatkins, Great Britain’s leading Trophy, Award and Silverware manufacturer since 1898, the Rugby Africa Gold Cup is a Gold Plated Perpetual Trophy Cup. Standing at a height of 47 centimeters (18.5 inches) and weighing 3.3 kilograms, it features a smooth Georgian bodied design, complete with patterned handles, a stepped lid that is supplied complete with a circular solid African Mahogany base. The Trophy has been engraved with the text ‘Rugby Africa Gold Cup’ and has the shape of Africa in pride of place on the main body. To complete, on the gold plated plinth band this holds the names of the winners. It's estimated there is enough space for – at least – seventy (70) winning teams' names to be engraved on the base of the perpetual trophy.
The Rugby Africa Gold Cup flight case has been especially designed by Great Britain’s leading flight case manufacturer, Flightcase Warehouse. The fully custom Spider Flight Cases is a strong and lightweight 7mm Astroboard flight case construction, complete with Steel corners and aluminum extrusions, filled with internal padding foam, with a cut to shape outline of the Trophy. There is a personalized aluminum plate on the Trophy Flight case with engraving “Rugby Africa Gold Cup”.
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- "Rugby Africa unveils the 2018 Competition Schedule:32 African countries, 10 competitions, more than 100 matches" (Press release). Rugby Africa. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
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- "APO partners with Rugby Africa". Bizcommunity (South Africa). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- "AIPS Media - Executive Committee". Retrieved 15 September 2012.