Finally, 15's team depart for South Africa

By the punter
Mar 04, 2021
  • Wilson K'Opondo who will captain the Tusker Simba team to the Vodacom Cup shows the way during a training session. The team left for Cape Town on Monday. (SNA File Photo)

  • Ken Andola is Tusker Simba's vice captain for the Vodacom Cup. (SNA File Photo)

  • Eden Agero is one of the players from the seven-a-side team named on the Tusker Simba XV which left for South Africa on Monday. (SNA File Photo)

The Kenya rugby team christened Tusker Simba XV departed for Cape Town South Africa on Monday evening to play in this year’s Vodacom Cup.

Some of the players spoke with anonymously saying the tour was on after outstanding allowances were paid. We were unable to independently confirm how this was done because the KRU did not answer our mails.

The travel plans to South Africa was shelved by one day after players declined to train demanding that their outstanding allowances be paid. Some players confirmed they were ready to depart on Sunday but doublespeak by KRU officials made them wary of the promises made.

“We were supposed to get some cash before we left but from the way they (KRU) were talking, it appeared they were not sure of paying us and players were not ready to listen to empty promises. This is why we decided not to train until the allowances were paid.”

When we later contacted our informants, they assured the money had been sent to the various accounts of the players which is why they boarded the plane to Cape Town.

In the meantime, a former 15’s official who is conversant with the team’s management added some spanner into the works saying KRU were not genuine about solving the impasse. “They (KRU) are only concerned with the Sevens and barely talk to the team,” the former official said.

On Friday, it emerged that the travel plans were also not completed and the team could not have left on Sunday because the visas had not been issued.

Tusker Simba XVs Full Squad: Joseph Kang’ethe, James Kang’ethe (Nondescripts RFC), Curtis Lilako, Musa Amusala, Maxwell Adaka, Oliver Mang'eni, Fabian Olando, Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Duncan Mwangi, Robert Aringo (Resolution Impala Saracens), Edward Oseko, Tony Mutai, Wilson K'Opondo, Lyle Asiligwa, Edwin Achayo, Eden Agero, Isaac Adimo, Nick Baraza, Dennis Muhanji (Kenya Harlequin), Emmanuel Mavala, Joshua Chisanga, Austine Gumo, Leonard Mugaisi (Homeboyz RFC), Davis Chenge (Western Bulls), Mike Okombe, Martin Owila (Nakuru RFC), Brian Nyikuli, Ken Andola, Cyprian Kuto, Tony Onyango (Strathmore University).

Officials: Jerome Paarwater (Kenya XVs High Performance Consultant), Paul Murunga (Assistant Coach), Mitch Ocholla (Assistant Coach), Richard Ochieng (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Christopher Makachia (Physiotherapist), Wangila Simiyu (Team Manager).