Chipu kick-off World U20 Trophy Tournament preps

Chipu kick-off World U20 Trophy Tournament preps

Kenya U20 Chipu and Zimbabwe fight for third position during the scramble for World Rugby U20 trophy at the Nyayo national stadium on July 30, 2023. Photo/Sportpicha

Chipu head coach Simon Jawichre has termed the national under-20 rugby team’s recent residential training camp at Kenya Academy of Sports as crucial as the juniors gear up for this year’s World Rugby Under-20 Trophy.

The Chipus, as they are fondly known, have not been in camp since they returned from Zimbabwe as victors of the Barthes Cup, and Jawichre says the one-week camp was purely focused on conditioning and to dust off rustiness in the squad.

“We’ve not really done much since we came back from Zimbabwe until this week of course pending the few guys who were in the super series, so this was really getting together with the guys and getting them to start gelling again.

“People had become rusty and this week we were heavy on conditioning and I think we have achieved that because other than the guys playing in the enterprise cup, we had over 95% attendance and we achieved what we had for this week.”

Jawichre says their next training camp will be more intense with the team already aware of their opponents in the World U20 trophy tournament set to be held from 2nd July – 17th July in Scotland.

“Our next camp is where probably we will go more into the coaching now that we know about the qualification and who we are meeting where, now we go deeper into preparing for each match before departure.

“From the original selection we did, we pretty much picked the best side we can put together at that age group for this year; remember we have been working with a group of 35 as much as its only 28 who travel. So, it’s that 35 that’s in the picture now, basically most of the 28 who went to Zimbabwe are still ranked ahead in terms of travelling.”

The former Catholic Monks’ tactician says the recent return of the national sevens side ,Shujaa, to the HSBC World Series is a welcome boost for the team and says it will fire up the boys to achieve greatness in Scotland.

“That really helps, not only them (players) but also the people we hope stick behind us. Our partners to the KRU (Kenya Rugby Union) say generally Kenyans are more focused because they can see good things are happening here and there in rugby and it gives us more wind under our wings which helps and the mental state becomes better when you know our bigger brothers are making waves here and there.

“So, this has come at the right time because we’ve really had challenges but when there are wins here and there, people know how to support us going forward.”

The team broke from the residential camp on Friday and will resume training on June 12.

Kenya will open their World U20 campaign against Uruguay on July 2, before facing the Netherlands on July 7 and then complete their tournament by facing USA on July 12.


Chipu Shujaa World Rugby Under-20 Trophy

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