Kenya Simbas step up preps for final World Cup qualifier
What you need to know:
- Odera said that Kenya Sevens stars Collins Injera and Vincent Onyala have withdrawn from the team, adding to the list of key players who are out.
- UK-based Dominic Coulson and USA-based Matoka Matoka have school commitments. Malcolm Onsando and Thomas Okeyo were unavailable for Saturday’s fixture.
Kenya Simbas’ head coach Paul Odera has admitted that there is still a lot of work to be done ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualification Tournament (repechage) slated for November 6 -18 in Dubai.
He spoke after a training match at the RFUEA grounds in Nairobi where coach Michael Owino’s Team Green defeated Odera’s Team Red 33-27.
Odera said: “Physically the team has made a lot of progress and credit goes to the strength and conditioning team. Tactically and technically, we still have a lot to do.”
Nevertheless, Odera, whose charges did not make it to South Africa this month for high performance training and build-up matches, said being psychologically right can boost the side.
“How many times have we seen Eliud Kipchoge train here in the country and still go on to triumph abroad? I know the tournament will be difficult but it is not impossible to get good results in Dubai. What we need is to have a good start and keep the momentum. We need to emphasise the importance of believing in ourselves,” noted Odera whose charges will play the USA (November 6), Portugal (November 12) and Hong Kong (November 18).
USA have been to the 15-a-side World Cup nine times, while Portugal competed in 2007. Kenya and Hong Kong have never been to the World Cup.
“We are trying to get our players in good psychological shape and show what we do in Kenya also has value,” said Odera whose side entered residential training camp on October 17.
He said that the training will help the players tune up after having last been in action about two-and-a-half months ago.
Odera said that Kenya Sevens stars Collins Injera and Vincent Onyala have withdrawn from the team, adding to the list of key players who are out.
UK-based Dominic Coulson and USA-based Matoka Matoka have school commitments. Malcolm Onsando and Thomas Okeyo were unavailable for Saturday’s fixture.