Three Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) players including Kenya Sevens pair of Andrew Amonde and Jacob Ojee are in the Kenya Simbas squad that will face Uganda in the second leg of the Elgon Cup on Saturday at Kyadondo, Kampala.
Head Coach Paul Odera has deployed Amonde, a former Kenya Sevens skipper, at backrow, while Ojee, the Kenya Sevens skipper, will start at right wing.
Odera, who effected several changes to the side that lost 16-13 to Uganda in the first leg in Kisumu, also brought on board KCB skipper Curtis Lilako, but the influential tight-head prop will start on the bench.
Olago will come in for Kenya Harlequin’s Melvin Thairu, who Odera has also included in the side that will miss four Kabras players, who featured in the first leg.
The Kabras players are away sharpening their skills in South Africa, while five other players are with Kenya Under-20 team Chipu that was due to leave Thursday night for the World Junior Rugby Trophy Championships planned for Brazil.
Odera said the inclusion of the senior players will bring in the much needed experience on the pitch and it will be important in decision making as well.
“Amonde will add some power into the backrow as he also gates the powerful runners that Uganda had, while Lilako will come off the bench at tight-head. Ojee’s pace and experience will be very invaluable to the team,” noted Odera.
“Thairu is a good ball carrier as well as Fidel Oloo.”
Odera, who is also Chipu head coach, will not be available for the second leg, but instead backs coach Albertus Van Buuren will take charge of the team.
Van Buuren will be assisted by the director of rugby and former Kenya Simbas Coach, Thomas Odundo. Fahad Adil takes up the team manager role since Jimmy Mnene will also be away with Chipu in Brazil.
1. Oscar Simiyu (KCB), 2. Francombe Toby (Nondies), 3. Melvin Thairu (Harlequin), 4. Simon Muniafu (Impala), 5. Malcolm Onsando (Harlequin), 6. Andrew Amonde (KCB), 7. Akuei Monate (Nakuru), Elkeans Musonye (Impala), 9. Onsomu Samson (Impala), 10. Charles Kuka (USIU), 11. Billy Odhiambo (Impala), 12. Johnstone Mungau (Kabras Sugar), 13. Peter Kilonzo (KCB), 14. Jacob Ojee (KCB), 15. Anthony Odhiambo (Impala).
Reserves: 16. Musila Grifin (KCB), 17. Ouko Patrick (Homeboyz), 18. Curtis Lilako (KCB), 19. Shem Joseph (Impala), 20.Oloo Fidel (Nondies), 21.Wanjala Michael (KCB), 22. Tendwa Charles (South Coast Pirates), 23. Njoroge Isaac (KCB).
Management: Albertus Van Buuren (Head Coach) Thomas Odundo (DOR), Fahad Adil (Team Manager), Ben Mahinda(Physiotherapist), Tom Lagat (Strength and Conditioning)