Kenya 15s rugby coach rings changes in squad to face Hong Kong, China

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-16 22:51:31|Editor: huaxia
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NAIROBI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenya rugby 15s head coach Jerome Paarwater is hopeful his team will weather the storm and beat Hong Kong, China when the two sides meet in Nairobi on Sunday.

Kenya will face Hong Kong, China on Sunday in the first of two international matches to be played in Nairobi and the South African coach has opted to juggle up his squad and made 17 changes from the team that played Zimbabwe and Namibia last month in the Africa Gold Cup.

The head coach said his new side will be able to deliver the results and has named George Nyambua to captain the squad.

Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday when he named his side, team manager Wangila Simiyu said the changes in the squad were prompted because they needed to allow a number of upcoming players prove their worth.

"Kenya has a large reservoir of talented players who did not make to play the Gold Cup and this is their time to shine. It is a mixture of youth and experience and we remain confident that they can deliver against Hong Kong," said Simiyu.

It will be the team's first match since their crushing 45-7 loss away to Namibia. The result saw Kenya finish second in the Gold Cup as Namibia retained the title.

Among the changes are James Kubasu, Philip Ikambili, Emmanuel Mavala, Elkeans Musonye, Brad Owako and Alex Olaba, all who were named to the match day squad released on Wednesday in Nairobi.

The other players are Benjamin Marshall who could make his debut from the bench, Oliver Mangeni, Emmanuel Mavala, Elkeans Musonye and Edwin Machanje.

There is also James Kubasu, Dennis Karani, Philip Ikambili, Biko Adema and Vincent Mose who is back from playing rugby in Uganda. According the Simiyu, the changes were effected in order to allow a number of upcoming players prove their worth.

Kenya will be aiming to make full use of the match to prepare for November's four nations test series in Hong Kong and next year's 2019 World Cup qualifiers.

Kenya is ranked 25th and invited to the Hong Kong Cup slated for November 10 to 18 this year, where it will take on defending champion Russia (21), Chile (27) and the hosts.

The 28-man Hong Kong, China team, who is ranked one place above Kenya, will arrive in Nairobi on Thursday led by head coach Leigh Jones and skipper Nick Hewson. The second test match will be played on Aug. 26. Enditem