Simbas banking on youth for a brighter future


Kenya Rugby Union CEO Ronald Bukusi [L] and Kenya Simbas Team Manager Wangila Simiyu addressing ...
Kenya Rugby Union CEO Ronald Bukusi [L] and Kenya Simbas Team Manager Wangila Simiyu addressing the media during the Kenya Simbas squad naming to play Uganda in the second leg of the Elgon cup/Rugby Africa gold cup at the RFUEA Grounds on may 22,2017.Photo/Kelly Ayodi/www.sportpicha.com

The national rugby 15s side Simbas is turning their attention to develop young players into world class competitors as they strive become genuine challengers for major honours in the near future.

Simbas Team Manager Wangila Simiyu made the proclamation on the back of a statement squad overhaul headlined by 17 changes to the squad that lost to Namibia in the Africa Gold Cup as they prepare to face Hong Kong on Sunday.

Simiyu who spoke to Citizen Digital at the RFUEA grounds where the Simbas squad for the World Rugby test clash was unveiled said the plan is to blend youth and experience with the senior players expected to offer support and inspiration.

“We are thinking beyond both the Elgon and Africa Cups. For us to qualify for World Cup next year it will take a lot from us and we need some players who understand the game. Some of these players have actually stood up and are knocking on the big door,” Wangila said.

Head Coach Jerome Paarwater has included six players in his 23-member squad who will be in line to earn their maiden caps with the national team.

Kabras Sugar RFC lock George Nyambua has been named the captain of the side for the first time and will be deputized by Kenya Harlequins center Patrice Agunda.

“We’ve got quite a young side that will be playing this Sunday but is a team of the wider squad that has been training with us. We have had a very busy schedule and now we are giving those who did not get a chance to prove themselves,” Wangila stated.

The reverse fixture between Kenya and Hong Kong will be played on August 26 before the sides clash again during the Hong Kong Cup of Nations tournament in November.

FULL SQUAD

15. Vincent Mose, 14. Dennis Muhanji, 13. Patrice Agunda, 12. Brad Owako, 11. Alex Olaba, 10. Biko Adema, 9.Lyle Asigilwa, 1. James Kubasu, 2. Philip Ikambili, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Emmanuel Mavala, 5. Oliver Mang’eni, 6. Elkeans Musonye, 7. George Nyambua (captain), 8. Edwin Machanje, Replacements 16. Peter Karia, 17. Oscar Simiyu, 18. Bram Mayaka, 19. Ronnie Mwenesi, 20. Steve Otieno, 21. Sam Onsomu, 22. Kenny Andola, 23. Benjamin Marshall

 

-Report by Gilbert Rotich

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