Sevens star Ambaka handed starting Kenya 15s slot for Tunisia Test

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-09 19:40:11|Editor: mmm
Video PlayerClose

NAIROBI, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- International rugby sevens star William Ambaka is one of the two changes made by Kenya 15s head coach Ian Snook ahead of their 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup clash against Tunisia at Nairobi's RFUEA Ground on Saturday.

Ambaka will be handed a Test debut on the wing as the Kenyan side, known as Simbas, chases their fourth successive win in the continental competition, whose winners will qualify directly for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The other change in the squad that squeezed out a 38-22 home victory over Zimbabwe on their last Gold Cup outing last month sees Martin Owila being rewarded for his impressive performances as a substitute when he was handed a starting role ahead of George Nyambua at blindside.

Coach Ian Snook, who is aiming to qualify Kenya for their first ever World Cup, named his team on Thursday where he explained his reasons for including Ambaka, who replaces Felix Ayange.

"We watched a bit of footage in the Manawatu colours and decided he would fit in well to this group. Now he has a chance to show how good he can be in XV's and we wish him all the best," the New Zealander told media on Thursday.

Ambaka is a regular fixture for the national sevens side where he has risen to become a household name in the HSBC World Sevens Series.

His experience will be crucial as Simbas seeks to keep in touch with Gold Cup champions Namibia, who lead the standings with 20 points from four matches, eight points ahead of Kenya who have played a game less.

Uganda (five) and Tunisia (four) trail each other in that order in third and fourth in the standings of the round-robin competition.