Tunisia have taken a significant step towards reaching the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand by scoring a convincing 41-17 away victory against the Cranes of Uganda in the first of two home-and-away semi final play-offs in Kampala.
The Tunisians take a 24-point lead into the second leg, which will be played on 27 June in Tunis.
The aggregate winner will proceed to the Africa Cup final, also to be played home and away in November 2009, and the winner of the continent's showpiece event will qualify directly for the World Cup as Africa 1.
The loser will proceed to the cross-continental repechage for the final place.
In the other half of the Africa Cup draw Namibia face the Ivory Coast over two legs, the first to be played on 14 June in Abidjan and the second on the 27 June, in Windhoek.
When the pool allocation draw was made for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Africa 1 was placed in Pool D and will face the continent's number one side, World Cup holders South Africa as well as Wales, Fiji and Oceania 1.
The four semi finalists reached this stage in the competition by each topping their pools in 2008.
Namibia got the better of Zimbabwe and Senegal, Tunisia beat fancied Kenya 44-15 and also Cameroon, Uganda overcame both Botswana and Madagascar, while the Ivory Coast provided the shock of the qualifying stages by beating Morocco 21-9 in Casablanca to top their group.
Namibia secured Africa's prized qualifying place at the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup tournaments. Prior to that, Zimbabwe competed at the first two tournaments, in 1987 and 1991, and the Ivory Coast qualified in 1995.
With thanks to the IRB