Simbas roll out squad for Uganda clash
Five new faces have made the cut into the latest national 15s team that is largely dominated by reigning Kenya Cup champions KCB RFC and last season’s runners-up Kabras Sugar RFC.
The Kenya Simbas technical bench led by head coach Ian Snook named the squad on Thursday ahead Saturday’s Africa Gold Cup cum Elgon Cup second leg tie against Uganda.
Simbas had claimed a nervy win against Zimbabwe a fortnight ago and New Zealander Snook will hope his slightly tinkered team can make his life on the sidelines easier when he leads them back to the RFUEA Grounds.
France based Simon Muniafu headlines the new changes with Impala Saracens Vincent Mose relagating Biko Adema to the bench while Kabras Sugar Felix Ayange and KCB speedster Jacob Ojee set to make their first appearance of the season.
Mose starts at full back while Ayange will make his debut on the open wing as Ojee plays at the blind winge position.
KCB’s duo of Peter Kilonzo and Darwin Mukidza will partner at the midfield while Impala Saracens Sam Onsomu and Kenya Harlequins Isaac Adimo will be the half backs of the day.
Kabras Sugar forward Hillary Mwanjilwa wills start from the bench with a potential of donning the Kenya Simba jersey in the second half.
Patrick Ouko, Coleman Were and Joseph Odero will form the forward line with new inclusion Oliver Mang’eni and Andrew Chogo set to compose themselves in the lineouts as the locks of the day while George Nyambua, Elkeans Musonye and Davis Chenge are the flankers and eighth man respectively.
Dalmus Chituyi who scored a brace of the bench as Kenya saw off Zimbabwe will start from the bench again in a composed strong bench that consists of Martin Owilla and Muniafu.
KCB duo of Peter Karia,Moses Amusala,Impala Saracens youngster Xavier Bett and Nondiescripts utility Biko Adema are the others named in the Simbas squad.
The winner of the fixture not only gets awarded points for the World Cup Qualifiers but will also be crowned the Elgon Cup 2018 winner.
The fixture which kicks off at 3:00pm EAT at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds also doubles up as the second leg of the Elgon Cup.
Kenya’s Simbas go into the encounter with the advantage having won the first leg 34-16 in Kampala a fortnight ago.
Ian Snook’s men kicked off their Gold Cup campaign on a high note thanks to a 28-24 away win at Morocco before leaving it late to edge Zimbabwe 45-36 last weekend and will be eyeing a third straight qualifying win.
With Simbas Rugby World Cup qualification hopes still alive all is left is to defend the Elgon Cup, the silverware that the two East African nations have competed for on a home and away basis.
Uganda’s Rugby Cranes have already named their match day squad with Six Kenya Cup players in the Uganda’s 24-man squad set to travel to Nairobi for Saturday’s Africa Gold Cup match against Kenya Simbas at the RFUEA Grounds.
Lineup: 15.Vincent Mose (Impala Saracens), 14. Felix Ayange (Kabras Sugar), 13. Peter Kilonzo (KCB RFC), 12. Darwin Mukidza (KCB/Vice Captain), 11. Jacob Ojee (KCB RFC), 10. Isaac Adimo (Kenya Harlequins), 9. Samson Onsomu (Impala Saracens), 1. Patrick Ouko (Homeboyz RFC), 2. Colman Were (Kabras Sugar), 3. Joseph Odero (Kabras Sugar), 4. Andrew Chogo (Kabras Sugar), 5. Oliver Mang’eni (KCB RFC), 6. George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), 7. Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore Leos), 8. Davis Chenge (KCB/Captain)
Substitutes: 16. Peter Karia (KCB RFC), 17. Moses Amusala (KCB RFC), 18. Hillary Mwanjilwa (Kabras Sugar/debut), 19. Simon Muniafu (Decazeville, France), 20. Dalmus Chituyi (Homeboyz RFC), 21. Martin Owilah (KCB RFC), 22. Xavier Bett (Impala Saracens), 23. Biko Adema (Nondescripts RFC)