What you need to know:
- The other championship play-off duel between Northern Suburbs and United States International University’s (USIU’s) Martials will not be played following the withdraw of the varsity side
- Masinde Muliro will meet the winner between Mean Machine and Wasps in the other semi-final
- The semi-final winners will earn promotion to the Kenya Cup that is due to start on February 27
Mean Machine from the University of Nairobi and Egerton’s Wasps will clash on Saturday in a delayed Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Championship play-offs at the University of Nairobi ground.
However, the other championship play-off duel between Northern Suburbs and United States International University’s (USIU’s) Martials will not be played following the withdraw of the varsity side.
As a result, Suburbs are through to the next round of the semi-finals where they will play Strathmore Leos.
Masinde Muliro will meet the winner between Mean Machine and Wasps in the other semi-final.
The semi-final winners will earn promotion to the Kenya Cup that is due to start on February 27.
The play-offs were delayed from last year after the government moved to stop all sporting activities in March last year as the world started to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Strathmore Leos topped the KRU Championship unbeaten with 76 points followed by Masinde Muliro University with 67 points to secure the semi-final slots.
Kenya Cup’s Pool “A” will have Kabras Sugar, Impala Saracens, Mwamba, Blak Blad, Kenya Harlequin while KCB highlight Pool “B” that has Homeboyz, Menengai Oilers, Nakuru, Nondescripts. The KRU Championship finalists will join either pool.
In adherence with Covid-19 protocols, the Union said in a statement that no fans will be allowed into the match venue.
The KRU Championship play-offs will mark the resumption of rugby after 11 months.
KRU chief executive officer, Thomas Odundo said even though they are ready to resume, they still face challenges of testing players and other Covid-19 protocols.
“The Union and clubs don’t have money for testing but we are exploring to see how clubs can overcome these bottlenecks,” said Odundo adding that unlike football where testing is done once a month, rugby will be required to conduct them twice a month.
Odundo said they will spend Sh18 million to test 50 players the whole season hence the need for sponsors to come on board.
"Nakuru and Kakamega counties have two teams each in Kenya Cup. We want to engage these county governments to help test the players. We shall approach the Nairobi County government to also assist," said Odundo adding that Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) have helped conduct free Covid-19 tests for national Sevens teams.