|Starting from November 2019, 16 teams will compete in the new Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) with an aim to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in 2022. This format is more inclusive and easier to follow. The top 16 teams based on the African ranking will compete in a single coordinated competition until the last two face each other in the final.
The first stage consists of a qualifying round: the teams ranked 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th will oppose the teams ranked 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, in a single match at home. The winner of each of these four matches will progress to the group phase. In this second stage, the 12 teams are divided into 4 pools; inside each pool the 3 teams play against each other in a home or away game. The winner of each group will progress to the final tournament of the RAC. The top four teams from Africa will meet in one venue for the final stage of the RAC, which will include two semi-finals, a play-off for third place and, ultimately, the final to decide who will be the African champions.
Elimination stage: November 2019 – 4 single matches
Group stage: From June 2020 onwards – 3 matches per group, 12 in total
Final stage: July to August 2020 – 4 matches