Chipu report to camp ahead of Barthes Cup
- Kenya Under-20 Rugby 15’s provisional squad is back to training after the national trials held last weekend as they prepare to defend the African Under-20 Championship title popularly known as Barthes Cup.
- Under the leadership of Odera, Chipu had trials at the regional level and the national level, which according to the head coach he was impressed with the kind of talent he came upon during the trials.
Kenya Under-20 Rugby 15’s provisional squad is back to training after successful national trials held last weekend as they prepare to defend the African Under-20 Championship title popularly known as Barthes Cup.
The team reported to camp today morning at the Kenya Harlequins grounds along Ngong Road where they were immediately subjected to strength and conditioning sessions as they gear up for the eight-team tournament slated for April this year.
Odera is confident the early training sessions will keep his boys in top shape.
“The training starts today and I know it’s surprising to many people.
“We need to start training early to help the boys to be in good shape ahead of the tourney.
He says the fact that he is leading the defending champions will make things even harder for them as every opponent will come well prepared.
“We’re the defending champions of the Barthes Cup so we are the top-ranked team in Africa after South Africa at this level.
“We’ve got to work harder this year to defend the trophy,” claimed Odera.
After overseeing a rigorous trials program both at the regional and the national levels, Odera says the country is rich in talent and that can only help sustain Kenya’s dominance at the top level in future.
“We started the trials at the regional level then the second round was at the national level searching for players who will be part of Chipu’s squad 2020.
“It’s good to see there is a lot of talent across the country and what is exciting is that the boys are yearning for a slot in the team,” he explained.
He says the fact that many talented lads that are at his disposal will only make it harder for one to earn a slot in the squad.
There is a lot of competition and what is making it harder is that there are already 20 places filled by players who went to Brazil for the Junior World Cup,” he added.
The final Chipu squad will be announced at a later date.
Odera charges won the Barthes Cup last year at home after beating Namibia 21-18 in the final played at the KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka.
The triumph earned Kenya a ticket to the World Rugby Junior Trophy in Brazil where they finished sixth after winning one match against the hosts at the preliminary stage.
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