Kenya’s squad, to open its chase for the elusive Africa Gold Cup on Saturday 23 June in Casablanca against host Morocco, will be named on Wednesday at the RFUEA grounds by head coach Ian Snook.
The New Zealander’s first squad left him all smiles as, skippered by KCB flanker Davies Chenge, the Simbas handed him a fine Kenyan start in his first assignment as coach – a 34-16 first leg Elgon Cup win over the hosts.
Assistant coach Dominique Habimana told Raga House that Chenge will once again skipper the side to Morocco in the continued absence of Wilson Kopondo who missed the Elgon Cup.
"His injury requires a bit of time out of contact sport to recover. Chenge will captain the side to Morocco."
The Kenyan team has been training for the opening game and will be coming up against a Morocco side that shocked hosts Zimbabwe with a 23-23 draw in Harare last Saturday.
Snook will pick from a list of 35 players named for the season for his best 23 for the North African trip.
In the Kampala squad, a list of players; Forwards Moses Amusala (KCB), Nelson Nyandat (KCB) and Coleman Were (Kabras), back-rows Dalmus Chituyi (Homeboyz), Peter Misango (Quins), half-back Mohammed Omollo, centres Maxwell Kangeri and Zedden Marrow (both Homeboyz), wingers Felix Ayange (Kabras) and Edmund Anya of Strathmore were left behind awaiting future selection.
While in Kampala he handed three starting debuts to Patrick Ouko of Homeboyz and Joseph Odero of Kabras Sugar to sandwich KCB’s Peter Karia at front row as well as second row Andrew Chogo of Kabras who partnered seasoned Oliver Mangeni to give the tight five a new look.
Samson Onsomu of Impala Saracens and Isaac Adimo of Harlequins were the half backs with Jacob Ojee and Tony Onyango on either wing.
Saturday’s match in Casablanca takes place 11 years to the day Kenya posted a 23-16 win over the Moroccans in Nairobi and will also give the team an opportunity to register their first ever win on Moroccan soil after losses on their two previous visits to Morocco, 29-3 on 7 May 2005 and 29-11 on 11 July 2009.
The Simbas have been in training under Ian Snook and depart the country early Thursday morning for Casablanca, the venue of Saturday’s clash against their opponents who played to a 23-23 draw in their opening fixture against Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday 16 June 2018.
Rugby Africa Gold Cup Fixtures
16 June 2018
Zimbabwe 23 Morocco 23
Namibia 55 Uganda 6
23 June 2018
Namibia v Tunisia -Quinton Immelman(SARU)
Morocco v Kenya -Sebastien Minery(FFR)
30 June 2018
Kenya v Zimbabwe -Tual Trainini(FFR)
Morocco v Namibia -Adrien Descottes(FFR)
7 July 2018
Kenya v Uganda -Quinton Immelman(SARU)
Tunisia v Zimbabwe -Jonathan Dufort(FFR)
4 August 2018
Uganda v Tunisia -Cwengile Jadezweni(SARU)
Zimbabwe v Namibia -Egon Seconds(SARU)
11 August 2018
Uganda v Morocco -Rasta Rasivhenge(SARU)
Kenya v Tunisia -Julian Castaignede(FFR)
18 August 2018
Uganda v Zimbabwe -Egon Seconds(SARU)
Namibia v Kenya -Rasta Rasivhenge(SARU)
Tunisia v Morocco -Cedric Marchat(FFR)
-Additional material derived from KRU