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Kenya names 23-man squad for Namibia clash
By Eric Njiru | Tue 14 Aug, 2018 11:56

Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook on Tuesday named a 23-man squad that will travel to Namibia for the last match of Africa Gold Cup cum 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification. 

Homeboyz back-rower Dalmus Chituyi, KCB captain Curtis Lilako, and Kabras Sugar winger Felix Ayange return to the squad that heads out to Namibia on Wednesday morning. 

Chituyi replaces last weekend's man of the match Martin Owilah, Lilako comes in for Hillary Mwanjilwa who came in from the bench in the 67-0 win over Tunisia while Ayange is in for Maxwell Kang'eri. 

Kenya Sevens international Willy Ambaka who scored two tries on his debut is also on the squad with Jacob Ojee and Tony Onyango being the other wingers. 

Hlafbacks named in the squad are Isaac Adimo, Samson Onsomu and Mohamed Omollo as Oliver Mangeni, Andrew Chogo and Malcolm Onsando are named as locks. Davies Chenge will once against lead the squad. 

"Dallo is in as we have a 6/2 bench this game. It has been crucial in a couple of other games with fresh forwards coming on late in the game and making a telling difference. We hope this will be the same," said Snook.

"Felix is on the bench as he can cover many positions and is competent in them all. He is a tough competitor and we know he will be up for the physical battle. Biko who usually fills this role is carrying an injury. Curtis is back in so we can utilize his experience and cool head late in the game.”

It's down to Kenya Simbas and Namibia Welwitschias as far as who will represent Africa at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is concerned.

Kenya played her fourth match on Saturday beating Tunisia 67-0 to register a fourth win while Namibia had a rest having played four matches too ahead of next week's clash between the two sides in Windhoek.

Namibia is on top with 20 points as Kenya follows with 17. Kenya must beat Namibia with for them to head to Japan as Africa Cup winners.

"Our hopes and aspirations is that we play really well and piece together 80 minutes of what has only been seen for 40 or so minutes in the other games. It has been difficult with no warm up games and going in cold for one off test matches. The Tunisian game provided a bit of everything which the players will learn from. I’m expecting that the players are ready for an 80 minute effort and are really looking forward to it," added Snook.

The 2018 Africa Gold Cup is doubling up as qualifier for 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan with the competition's winner getting the sole ticket as Africa 1. 

Runners-up, Africa 2, will head to global repechage in France during the November test window for the last chance to qualify for the World Cup. They will play Canada, Germany and Hong Kong.

Simbas squad to Namibia
Half-backs: Isaac Adimo (Kenya Harlequin),  Samson Onsomu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Mohamed Omollo (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), 
Backs:William Ambaka (Kenya Harlequin), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Tony Onyango (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), 
Peter Kilonzo (KCB), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Felix Ayange (Kabras Sugar), 
Backrow: Dalmus Chituyi (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore Leos), Martin Owilah (KCB),George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), Davis Chenge (KCB, Captain)
Front-row: Curtis Lilako (KCB), Peter Karia (KCB), Patrick Ouko (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Moses Amusala (KCB), Joseph Odero (Kabras Sugar), Colman Were (Kabras Sugar), 
Locks: Andrew Chogo (Kabras Sugar), Oliver Mang’eni (KCB), Malcolm Onsando (Kenya Harlequin),

Eric Njiru
ericnjiru41@gmail.com +254726205521
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