More changes in Kenya team before Tunisia match

By francis marangu
Jul 06, 2017
  • Wilson K'Opondo returns from injury as Kenya 15's make more changes in team to face Tunisia on Saturday. (SNA. File Photo)

There will be two debutants when Kenya Simbas line up against Tunisia in their second Rugby Africa Gold Cup match at the RFUEA ground on Saturday.

Impala RFC center Leo Seje and Kabras Sugar lock George Nyambua have been named in the starting lineup.

Seje comes in for Patrice Agunda of Kenya Harlequin FC who has been rested with Nyambua replacing Oliver Mang’eni who is bereaved.

They came off the bench in previous matches against Germany and Uganda but have the opportunity to make a mark against Tunisia.

“It’s all about hard work and I trust the decision made by the coaches. This is the right time for me and I promise to deliver,” Seje said.

Youthful Homeboyz RFC backrow Steve Otieno is also part of the matchday 23-man squad and will be hoping for a second appearance.

“There is a lot of improvement in the team and across every position. Competition is also tight,” Wangila Simiyu, the team manager commented on the changes that also sees captain Wilson K’Opondo return to the starting lineup.

He missed both games against Uganda with injury and his recovery has been swift.

“Nyambua came in as an impact player in the past two games, Seje has been doing his things in Australia and played a few games with Impala while Steve Otieno has risen up the ranks from the u-19 team,” Wangila added.

“Every player coming in is by merit and we are committed to developing young players within the team,” Wangila added.

Quins scrumhalf Lyle Asiligwa and KCB flyhalf Kenny Andola are notable returnees to the team. They will start from the bench with Asiligwa as a cover for Impala’s Samson Onsomu and Andola for Quins’ Isaac Adimo.

Both teams played each other for the last time in June 2015 with Kenya winning 46-15.

Darwin Mukidza, Jacob Ojee, Isaac Adimo, Joshua Chisanga, Asiligwa, Moses Amusala, Peter Karia, Curtis Lilako, Dennis Muhanji and Davies Chenge are the surviving members of the team.

Tunisia began their campaign with a 7-53 home loss to Namibia last weekend but Kenya will be cautious in their approach. 

They arrived in the country early Thursday morning. “Their loss to Namibia does not give us an excuse to undermine them. They come in wounded and will want to win and prove a point. They will obviously want to slow down the game but if we take advantage of the altitude and play a fast game, they can't stand the pressure,” Wangila said.

Kenya Simbas: 15. Tony Onyango, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. David Ambunya, 12. Leo Seje, 11. Jacob Ojee, 10. Isaac Adimo, 9. Sam Onsomu, 1. Moses Amusala, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. George Nyambua, 6. Eric Kerre, 7. Davis Chenge, 8. Joshua Chisanga.

Replacements: 16. Philip Ikambili, 17. Oscar Simiyu, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. Martin Owila, 20. Steve Otieno, 21. Lyle Asiligwa, 22. Kenny Andola, 23. Dennis Muhanji.