Hong Kong has named the 23-man squad to play Kenya Simbas in the second test on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at RFUEA grounds.
Coach Dr Leigh Jones has kept faith in the starting fifteen from the first test, with only two positional changes for Saturday. Sam Purvis, who earned his first cap last week, moves to the centres to cover for Tyler Spitz, who injured his hamstring in the first test.
Purvis’s move inside opens space for Robbie Keith to start against Kenya on the right wing.
“We put in a very brave and courageous performance last week, particularly as we were coming into our first test off the back of our summer break,” said Jones.
“Full credit to the guys. It’s a good group to work with and there’s a lot of camaraderie in the squad. This group has worked hard together and has really bonded. I think it’s only fair that we reward that.”
Spitz’s injury was a turning point in the first test for Jones.
“We put in a real good first 25 minutes of rugby and perhaps could have gone 25 or 28 points up but the game turned on Tyler’s injury. We lost our cutting edge speed and that helped Kenya come back into it. It’s natural that we ran out of steam a bit, as we are not yet battle hardened.
Jones’ main changes come in the reserves with Mike Parfitt, Tony Wong and potential first caps James Christie and Evi Saua all coming on to the bench, alongside front-rowers Dayne Jans, Dan Barlow and Alex Ng Wai-shing, who earned his 50th cap in the opening test.
Kenya has already named their squad with majority of the first team members making a return.
“They’ve strengthened their squad significantly. They tried a lot of bench guys in game one, which kind of backfired. This team looks more like the one that played Namibia in the Africa Cup. They’ve brought in their captain and several other players and there’s a message in there, I think,” Jones said.
Hong Kong squad v Kenya (Saturday, 26 August 2017)
1.Ben HIGGINS 2. Jamie TSANG 3. Jack PARFITT 4. Kyle SULLIVAN 5. James CUNNINGHAM 6. Nick HEWSON 7. Matt LAMMING 8. Thomas LAMBOLEY 9. Liam SLATEM10. Matthew ROSSLEE11. Marcus RAMAGE 12. Lex KALECA13. Sam PURVIS14. Robbie KEITH 15. Liam GALLAHER
Reserves: 16. Dayne JANS17. Dan BARLOW 18. Alex NG Wai-shing19. Fin FIELD 20. Tony WONG1. James CHRISTIE 22. Evi SAUA
Story by Kenya Rugby Union