Chipu squad for Rugby Africa U-20 Championships named

Monday January 8 2018

Kenya (red and white stripes) and Zimbabwe compete at the 2017 Rugby Africa U20 Championship in Madagascar. PHOTO | KRU |

Kenya (red and white stripes) and Zimbabwe compete at the 2017 Rugby Africa U20 Championship in Madagascar. PHOTO | KRU |  

By VINCENT OPIYO
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The national under-20 rugby team head coach Paul Odera has named a provisional squad of 37 players ahead of the Rugby Africa U-20 Championships scheduled for March in Windhoek, Namibia.

The 55 players were trimmed to 37 after a training session at RFUA grounds on Sunday.

“The final squad of 25 players will be named a few weeks to the tournament,” said Kenya Rugby Union media chief Michael Kwambo.

The junior side, nicknamed Chipu, has been drawn against Zimbabwe with the winner taking on either Namibia or Madagascar in the South Zone title decider.

The winning finalist will battle the winner of the North Zone for the overall African title and book a place to the 2018 Junior World Trophy at a yet-to-be-named venue.

Odera’s team is led by foreign-based quintet of Mark Mutuku of Canterbury University (New Zealand), Michael Amolo (Leeds University, United Kingdom) and South Africa based trio of Toby Francombe (Western Province Academy), Andrew Simiyu (Hillcrest High School) and Jeff Mutuku (Kingswood College).

Chipu finished second in the inaugural Under-20 Barthes Trophy held in April last year in Madagascar in what was their last international assignment.

Namibia, unbeaten since 2012 in the junior category, won the final 66-24 against Kenya in Group A.

Chipu meanwhile last played at the World Junior Trophy in 2009 hosted by Kenya and were runners up to Namibia at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the Rugby Africa Under-20 Championships.

This year’s junior world trophy will be the 11th of the annual international rugby union competition for the juniors.

PROVISIONAL SQUAD
John Daniel Gichuhi (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), James Wanjala (Strathmore Leos), Boniface Ochieng (SportPesa Quins), Kevin Kerore (Mwamba), Toby Francombe (Western Province Academy), Joshua Matasi (Resolution Impala Saracens), Eugene Kuria (Strathmore School), Simon Peter Ofula (Strathmore School), William Diffu (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Emmanuel Silungi (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Monate Akuei (Top Fry Nakuru), Joe Awori (USIU),Dennis Lusweti (USIU), Harold Anduvate (Menengai Oilers)

Allan Aziz (Menengai Oilers), Bethuel Anami (Strathmore Leos), Stanley Isogol (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Mark Mutuku (Canterbury University, NZ), Martin Jeremy (USIU), Andrew Siminyu (Hillcrest High School, SA), Samuel Asati (KCB), Xavier Kipng’etich (Resolution Impala Saracens), Gideon Makumi (Strathmore Leos), Edmund Anya (Strathmore Leos)

Michele Brighetti ( UK), Alvin Okoth ( Mwamba), Steven Osumbo (KCB),Lucas Oppal (Strathmore Leos), Kelvin Munene (USIU), Michael Amolo (Leeds University, UK), Victor Matiko (Menengai Oilers),Zeden Marrow (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Jeff Mutuku (Kingswood College, SA),Derrick Keyoga (Menengai Oilers), Bradley Ochieng (Strathmore Leos), Joshua Macharia ( Daystar/KCB), Johnstone Olindi (Menengai Cream Homeboyz) and Erastus Karani (Strathmore Leos).