The Simbas Head Coach Paul Odera has named a squad of 40 players who will take part in next month’s fixtures of the South African Championships.
The Simbas are set to take part in an array of South African Championships, which include Currie Cup’s talent in the Carling Champions match on November 6 before competing against Namibia, Brazil and Zimbabwe in the Stellenbosch Quadrangular from November 14.
The Stellenbosch Quadrangular will be played on a knockout basis with the direct semifinals on November 14 while play-offs and finals are set for November 20.
Odera said his selection was dependent on footage and data of players who featured well against Zambia in their last test matches.
“We based our selection on footage and data from players who featured well against Zambia in the last test matches – the wider training squad comprising of overseas-based players and a few others who may have stood out in the Kenya Cup season and may have missed out earlier in the season,” Odera told Standard Sports.
Two players in the squad who are uncapped are Strathmore Leos’ Bethuel Anami and Mwamba’s George Omolla.
The rest are seasoned players who have featured in the National Sevens Series and in the International Fifteens Championships.
Odera said the matches will help them prepare for Rugby World Cup qualifiers next year.
“These test matches will be crucial in helping us prepare for the qualifiers next year. Playing matches against quality opposition is valuable in High-Performance environments,” said Odera.
The Simbas will also play an international friendly match in Bloemfontein on November 25 against an opponent to be named in the due course..
Kenya Rugby Union chairman Oduor Gangla welcomed the additional fixtures in Stellenbosch saying “We appreciate the efforts made by World Rugby in ensuring that the Simbas get to play high profile test matches”.
“This experience and exposure from these test matches is a vital step in our preparations for next year’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers,” added Gangla.
The Simbas Itinerary
November 6, 2021 – Carling Champions Match, Pretoria Kenya Vs Currie Cup Select.
November 14, 2021 – Stellenbosch Quadrangular, Stellenbosch Kenya Vs Namibia,
November 20, 2021 – Stellenbosch Quadrangular Stellenbosch Kenya Vs TBC,
november 25, 2021 – International Friendly Bloemfontein, Kenya Vs TBC.
The Simbas Training Squad for November Internationals.
Forwards; Ian Njenga(Nondies), Nesta Okotch(Impala), Joseph Odero(Kabras Sugar), Eugene Sifuna(Kabras Sugar), Griffin Musila(KCB), Boniface Ochieng (Kenya Harlequins), Ephraim Oduor(Kabras Sugar),, Patrick Ouko(KCB), Melvin Thairu(Harlequins), George Nyambua(Kabras Sugar),Thomas Okeyo (Nakuru), Emmanuel Silungi(Homeboyz), Brian Juma(Kabras Sugar), Joshua Chisanga (Harlequins), Bethuel Anami(Strathmore Leos), George Omolla (Mwamba), Dan Sikuta(Kabras Sugar), Brian Amaitsa(Nondies), Fidel Oloo (Nondies), Steve Sakari(Kabras S7gar), Elkeans Musonye(Impala Saracens) and Tony Owuor (Mwamba).
BACKS;-Samson Onsomu(Impala Saracens), Barry Robinson(Kabras Sugar), Brian Wahinya(Blak Blad), Jone Kuvu(Kabras Sugar),Charles Kuka (Mwamba), Brian Tanga(Kabras Sugar), Timothy Okwemba(Menengai Oilers), Derrick Ashiundu(Kabras Sugar), John Okoth(Nakuru), Vincent Ontala, Samuel Asari, Peter Kilonzo, Darwin Mukidza, Michael Kimwele, Jacob Ojee and Isaac Njoroge (all KCB), Anthony Odhiambo(Impala Saracens) and Andrew Matoka(Strathmore Leos).