Kabras Sugar’s Fijian Jona Kubu in action against Kisumu RFC. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Fijian and Kabras Sugar Utility Back Jone Kubu has been named in the 2021 Kenya Simbas squad ahead of the International season preparations.

Kubu, who has made a name for himself in the rugby fraternity after arriving in Kenya six years ago, has been rewarded with his first national call up to the Kenya national 15s rugby team.

Under the World Rugby residency rule known as Regulation 8, a player may represent a country after they have resided there for 36 months, a rule the Fijian nationality has already surpassed.

Kenya Simbas head coach Paul Odera on Saturday called up 102 players to the 2021 Simbas training squad that will kick off preparations with virtual sessions, with the decision has been dictated by government protocols.

Odera said he analysed the current Kenya Cup season which helped in selection of players in addition to reviewing international matches for overseas-based players.

“The squad includes those named in 2020 as well as additional players selected using footage and data from current Kenya Cup season which was suspended on March 26 and International matches for overseas-based players.”

“Chairman of selectors Kirori Mindo, fellow selectors Victor Sudi and Mitch Ocholla looked at six protocols on attack and defense,” said Odera.

This initial squad will undergo a series of assessment tests after which the team will be narrowed down to 50 players and later, a final list of 30 players who will compete in this year’s Rugby Africa Cup.

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The management has scheduled several training camps that will either be virtual or face to face, depending on the next government’s directive on sporting activities across the country.

This is in preparation for the Stellenbosch camp in June followed by the RA cup in July 2021 where the Simbas will face Senegal and Zambia here in Kenya.

After all sporting activities were halted early last year, the Simbas carried on with their weekly sessions only that they were held via zoom with players completing the tasks provided by either the Head Coach or the Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Owino or the Emotional Intelligence lead, Nandi Kegode.

 Kubu is tackled by Brian Waraba of Harlequins during Charity Cup tournament at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, Feb 20, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Simbas 2021 provisional squad:

Loosehead props: Ian Njenga(Nondescripts RFC), Andrew Siminyu(University of Jo’burg), Elisha Koronya(Kenya Harlequin), Collins Obure(Blakblad RFC),Nesta Okotch(Impala Saracens), Joseph Odero(Kabras Sugar RFC), Victor Emmanuel(Kabras Sugar RFC), Emmanuel Otieno(Impala Saracens).

Hookers: Toby Francombe(Unattached), Boniface Ochieng(Kenya Harlequin), Emmanuel Mulindo(Menengai Oilers), Stanley Isogol(Homeboyz RFC), Eugene Sifuna(Kabras Sugar RFC), Brian Waraba(Kenya Harlequin), Brett Khamadi(Kabras Sugar RFC), Griffin Musila(KCB).

Tighthead props: Ian Masheti(Impala Saracens), Melvin Thairu(Kenya Harlequin), Ephraim Oduor(Kabras RFC), Miles Rotuk Rahedi(Kutztown University), Patrick Ouko(KCB), Wilheight Mususi(Kenya Harlequin).

Locks: Malcolm Onsando(Dinamo Bucharesti), Thomas Okeyo(Top Fry Nakuru RFC), Hibrahim Ayoo(Menengai Oilers), Tony Owuor(Mwamba RFC), Davis Chenge(KCB).

Locks: Brian Juma(Kabras RFC), Emmanuel Mavala(Kenya Harlequin), Kevin Nyongesa(Kabras Sugar RFC), Frank Aduda(Impala Saracens), Emmanuel Silungi(Homeboyz RFC), Wallace Otineo(Homeboyz RFC).

Blindside flanker: Joshua Chisanga(Kenya Harlequin), George Nyambua(Kabras Sugar RFC), Samuel Onsongo(Menengai Oilers), Bethwel Anami(Strathmore Leos), George Omolla(Mwamba RFC), Herman Humwa(Kenya Harlequin), James McGreevy(Kenya Harlequin/Glasgow University).

Kenya Simba players react after losing 29-30 to Germany during Kenya-Germany test encounter at the Kenya Rugby Union ground in Nairobi on Saturday 27/05/17. [Boniface Okendo, The Standard]

Openside flanker: Monate Akuei(Tigers RFC), Cameron Coulson(Richmond RFC), Brian Amaitsa(Nondescripts), Fidel Oloo(Nondescripts), Martin Owilla(KCB), Ernest Obatt(Blakblad RFC), Andrew Odhiambo(Western Bulls), Clinton Odhiambo(Menengai Oilers), Brayden Barrat(Durham University London), Dan Sikuta(Kabras Sugar RFC).

Number 8: Elkeans Musonye(Impala Saracens), Steve Anthony Otieno(Impala Saracens), Darrensheldon Kahi(Blakblad RFC),Harold Anduvati(Menengai Oilers), Steve Sikuta(Mwamba), Mark Mutuku(Notre Dame Athletic).

Scrumhalf: Samson Onsomu(Impala Saracens), Samuel Asati(KCB), Barry Robinson(Kabras Sugar RFC), Brian Tanga(Kabras Sugar RFC), Brian Wahinya(Blakblad RFC)

Fly half: Anthony Omondi(Mwamba), Charles Kuka(Mwamba), Owain Ashley Lloyd(Cardiff University), Abdultwalib Wesonga(Menengai Oilers), Stephen Osumba(KCB), Jone Kubu(Kabras Sugar), Dominic Coulson(Exeter University).

Left-wing: Timothy Okwemba(Menengai Oilers), Billy Omondi(Impala Saracens), Beldad Ogeta(Menengai Oilers), Archadius Khwesa(Blakblad RFC), Mike Okello(Mwamba), Derrick Ashiundu(Kabras Sugar RFC).

Inside center: John Okoth(Top Fry Nakuru), Charles Tendwa(SC Pirates), Max Omondi(Catholic Monks), Derrick Obukwa(Blakblad RFC), Johnstone Muhanji(Kabras Sugar RFC), Leroy Kamau(Kenya Harlequin).

Outside center: Vincent Onyala(KCB), Austin Sikutwa(Menengai Oilers), Eliud Mulakoli(USIU), Zeden Marrow(Homeboyz RFC), Bob Muhati(Homeboyz RFC), Joel Inzuga(Mwamba), Peter Kilonzo(KCB), Valerian Tendwa(Kabras RFC).

Right-wing: Geoffrey Okwach(KCB), Michael Kimwele(KCB), Jacob Ojee(KCB), Bryceson Adaka(Kabras Sugar RFC), Leonard Mugaisi(Homeboyz RFC), Darwin Mukidza(KCB).

Fullback: Jeff Mutuku(Notre Dame Athletic), Anthony Odhiambo(Impala Saracens), Isaac Njoroge(KCB), Andrew Matoka(Strathmore Leos), Samuel Mwaura(Top Fry Nakuru), Ronnie Omondi(Mwamba), Anderson Oduor(Impala Saracens), Brian Oyando(Kenya Harlequin).

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