No place for chisanga

By francis marangu
May 25, 2017
  • Joshus Chisanga, who has been playing for Newcastle Falcons in the United Kingdom, is back in the country and trained with the team on Wednesday. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

There is no place yet for Joshua Chisanga in the Kenya Simbas squad that was unveiled on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s international test match against Germany at the RFUEA Ground.

Chisanga, who has been playing for Newcastle Falcons in the United Kingdom, is back in the country and played for Homeboyz against KCB last weekend.

He was highly expected to make it to the matchday squad but the technical bench has delayed his return.

“He trained only once with the team on Wednesday but we need to monitor him more. We were impressed and by next week, we will be able to tell when he can play since we have several matches coming up,” Wangila Simiyu, the team manager said.

KCB’s Martin Owila has been named to start at backrow against Germany.

Biko Adema who has switched from Kenya Sevens will start at flyhalf and the team manager said “he is back home”. His exposure with Kenya Sevens has aided in his selection.

Impala scrumhalf Samson Onsomu who has been an understudy for Edwin Achayo and Lyle Asiligwa will partner Adema at halfback while Darwin Mukidza starts at wing. Homeboyz’ Tony Onyango will play as the fullback.

Captain Wilson K’Opondo and winger Jacob Ojee of KCB are marking their returns to the national team. They missed last season with injury and are set to start on Saturday.

Five debutants

Philip Ikambili (Homeboyz), Oscar Simiyu (KCB), Bramwel Mayaka (Homeboyz), George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar) and Leo Seje Owade (Impala) are lined up for debuts after making the final squad.

“We have a pool of 36 players and those who have been selected have merited to be in the team,” Wangila Simiyu noted. “With young players like Ikambili and Mayaka coming in, it shows that Kenya Cup is becoming a competitive league.”

The German squad arrived in the country on Tuesday night and trained at the Impala Club. The team is led by captain Sean Armstrong and are also eying a place at the 2019 World Cup.

The match will be equally important to the European nation as it will be for Kenya.

“They are not a squad to be taken lightly since they have been doing well in the European circuit,” Simiyu cautioned.

“They play a structured game and are very fast upfront. We will use everything to our advantage on Saturday including the altitude.”

For K’Opondo, he returns to captain a changed squad but says the young players have the hunger and passion to do well for their country.

“For sure, it is good for me to be back,” he commented on his return from injury and back to the team's leadership. “Representing my country is one thing that I am always happy about.”

Fully focused

K’Opondo said the team is fully focused on their journey to Japan.

“Even though the main thing is going to Japan, that does not derail us from concentrating on the task at hand. We have Germany at the moment and we will take a stride at a time.”

Kenya Rugby Union board is supportive of the team’s effort as confirmed by chairman Richard Omwela. He rallied the team to start off the international assignments strongly by beating Germany.

They will also play against Uganda, Tunisia and Namibia

. “It's a series of matches that we want to see our team play as we build up for Japan. As a board, we know that we are building a team for that.”

Tatu City will sponsor the test series for a second year running.

“I want to reaffirm our long-term commitment to help Kenya make it to the world cup. We have signed an agreement with KRU to not only offer financial support but technical and administrative support as well,” Tito Oduk, a former Kenyan international remarked on behalf of Tatu City.

He said they plan to have the team travel to New Zealand for a training camp next year as part of their support.

Kenya Simbas

15. Tony Onyango (Homeboyz), 14. Darwin Mukidza (KCB, Vice Captain), 13. David Ambunya (Quins), 12. Patrice Agunda (Quins), 11. Jacob Ojee (KCB), 10. Biko Adema (Nondescripts), 9. Samson Onsomu (Impala), 1. Moses Amusala (KCB), 2. Peter Karia (KCB), 3. Dennis Karani (Impala), 4. Wilson Kopondo (Quins, Captain), 5. Simon Muniafu (Impala), 6. Eric Kerre (Impala), 7. Davis Chenge (KCB), 8. Martin Owila (KCB).

Replacements:  16. Philip Ikambili (Homeboyz)17. Oscar Simiyu (KCB), 18. Bramwell Mayaka (Homeboyz), 19. Oliver Mang’eni ( KCB), 20. George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), 21. Kelvin Masai (Homeboyz), 22. Leo Seje Owade (Impala), 23. Dennis Muhanji (Quins).

Germany: Sean Armstrong, Raynor Parkinso, Timo Vollenkemper, Kehoma Brenner, Jaco Otto, Jarrid Els, Harris Aounallah, Dale Garner, Michael Poppmeier, Jörn Schröder, Pirmin Stöhr, Luis Ball, Antony Dickinson, Chris Howells, Ben Ellermann, Daniel Cook, Jamie Murphy, Marcel Coetzee, Erik Marks, Damien Tussac, Tim Menzel, Mikael Tyumenev, Julius Nostadt, Christopher Hilsenbeck, Dasch Barber, Samy Füchsel, Mathieu Ducau, Felicien Vergnon, Marcel Henn.