Kenya Simba head coach Paul Odera has named the 23-man squad that will take on the Carling Currie Cup Champions select side on Saturday from 2:00 pm East African Time at the Loftus Versfeld.
The national rugby 15s side will kick off their three-weeks South Africa tour with a match against the Carling Champion Team, consisting of players selected by fans from the Seven Carling Currie Cup Premier Division teams
The team landed in Pretoria on Wednesday and will take part in four matches in South Africa.
Simba’s had their training sessions on Thursday as they continued with their preparations ahead of the weekend fixtures.
Speaking after one of the sessions, captain Daniel Sikuta stated that the team was in a good mental and physical state that could be seen from the one week camp they had in Nairobi in October up to now.
“We had a recovery session on Wednesday immediately after arriving in South Africa. From the look of things, the boys are ready for the match this weekend, the positive energy can be felt across the board and what we need to do is focus on the task at hand. I strongly believe that we shall come back with good results based on the targets we have set for ourselves,” he said.
Head coach Odera added that the selection for tomorrow’s match is very interesting because they’ve had to look at different scenarios and who can play multiple positions.
“This is probably the hardest match the Simba’s have played when it comes to the intensity that we are going to encounter,” he said.
“Our strength is that of course, we have an athleticism that can pretty much work for us but we also have to counterbalance that withholding our own set-pieces.
“We have Kubu and Asati as the halfback pairing that will start this match and the good thing about having Asati at 9 is that he is an excellent defender because we do expect a lot of pressure from the side that we will be facing tomorrow.
“We have three debutants in the team, Matoka, Anami and Ashihundu and they are players to truly look out for because they are excellent players in their own right.
“The mood in the team is very good, I wish I was a young player again because playing in this facility, in a ground like this that has so much history is what players look to live for and I think they will do themselves and the country proud.”
Kenya Simbas Line Up
Ian Njenga(Nondescripts) 2. Eugene Sifuna(Kabras Sugar) 3. Patrick Oyugi(KCB ) 4. Malcolm Onsando(Kenya Harlequin) 5. Thomas Okeyo(Top Fry Nakuru) 6. Joshua Chisanga(Kenya Harlequin) 7. Dan Sikuta (c) (Kabras Sugar ) 8. Stephen Sakari(Mwamba ) 9. Samuel Asati(KCB ) 10. John Kubu(Kabras Sugar ) 11. Brian Tanga(Kabras Sugar ) 12. John Okoth(Top Fry Nakuru) 13. Vincent Onyala(KCB ) 14. Jacob Ojee(KCB ) 15. Darwin Mukidza(KCB )
16. Bonface Ochieng(Kenya Harlequin) 17. Andrew Siminyu(University of Jo’burg) 18. Melvin Thairu(Kenya Harlequin) 19. Bethwel Anami*(Strathmore Leos) 20. Fidel Oloo(Nondescripts ) 21. Barry Robinson(Kabras Sugar ) 22. Derrick Ashihundu*(Kabras Sugar ) 23. Andrew