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Coach Odera names Simbas squad for Repechage training

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  • The Simbas will take part in a four-nation repechage tournament
  • The team failed to qualify for the World Cup at the Africa qualifiers
  • Coach Odera started training Friday

Kenya Simbas coach Paul Odera has named a training squad of 38 players that started preparation on Friday ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualification repechage tournament scheduled for Dubai in November.

The SImbas dropped to the repechage round of qualification after losing the Africa Cup final to Namibia in July.

The tactician has made only three alterations to the training squad, from the one that prepared for the Africa Cup, bringing in the trio of Homeboyz RFC youngster Amon Wamalwa, Kenya Harlequin’s Melvin Thairu and KCB’s Geoffrey Okwatch.

The players who are missing from the initial squad are winger Derrick Ashiundu and prop Ian Njenga who are recuperating after sustaining long term injuries.

“We have tried to maintain the same squad to ensure we have continuity,” said coach Odera.

Look at players fitness, assess Africa Cup

Kenya Simbas

The Kenya Simbas line up for a group photo in France

“It will be important to look at where the players are in terms of their fitness, and then try and build a base from there. The good thing about the session is that we have a good foundation from October last year when we went to South Africa, then participated in the Currie Cup and the World Cup qualifiers. We’ve had a consistent team, so we are starting from a good base,” he added.

He also said; “It is exciting times for everyone, both the players and the coaches to see how we can tackle this challenge in November.”

The Repechage tournament is set to be played in Dubai from November 6-18 and the Simbas will contest for a single qualification in a round-robin tournament that also includes USA, Portugal and Hong Kong.

These are the four losers from each of the continental finals and they will battle it out for a single slot into the World Cup to be staged in France next year.

Odera has admitted it will be a tougher route to the World Cup but says his team will go out to do their best and attempt a first ever qualification.

Repechage going to be harder

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Kenya Simbas head coach Paul Odera

“It’s going to be a harder competition than the World Cup qualifiers in France if it is to be believed, but it will be a lot harder,” the tactician said.

Kenya has never qualified for the 15s World Cup and they will once again try to write history in Dubai. At the Africa Cup, Kenya came short after suffering a huge 36-0 thrashing at the hands of Namibia in the final.

Coach Odera will however look to pick the lessons from the loss at the tournament staged in France as they look to topple the bigger nations. The Simbas have played against Hong Kong on several opponents with an equal share of wins and losses and they will fancy their chances.

It will however be the first 15s meeting against the Americans and the Portuguese but the team is upbeat of their chances.

Simbas Training Squad.

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Kenya Simbas fly half Jone Kubu (centre) with Dominic Coulson (left) and Samuel Asati (right)

FORWARDS

Edward Mwaura (Menengai Oilers), Melvin Thairu (Kenya Harlequin), Andrew Siminyu (University of Johanesburg),  Eugene Sifuna (Kabras Sugar), Teddy Akala (Kabras Sugar), Brian Waraba (Kenya Harlequin), Patrick Ouko (KCB), Ephraim Oduor (Kabras Sugar), Joseph Odero (Kabras Sugar), Davis Chenge (KCB),Malcolm Onsando (CS Dinamo Bucaresti, Romania),Thomas Okeyo (University of Joahnesburg), Brian Juma (Kabras Sugar), Shem Joseph (Kabras Sugar), George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), Bethuel Anami (Strathmore Leos), Daniel Sikuta (Kabras Sugar), Martin Owilah (KCB), Clinton Odhiambo (Menengai Oilers), Brian Ndirangu (Menengai Oilers)

BACKS

Samuel Asati (KCB), Brian Wahinya (KCB), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Jone Kubu (Kabras Sugar), Beldad Ogeta (Menengai Oilers), John Okoth (Menengai Oilers), Timothy Okwemba (Menengai Oilers), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Vincent Onyala (KCB), Bryceson Adaka (Kabras Sugar), Peter Kilonzo (KCB), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Geoffrey Ominde (Menengai Oilers), Amon Wamalwa (Homeboyz), Geoffrey Okwach (KCB), Andrew Matoka (Principia College, USA), Dominic Coulson (University of Exeter, England)

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