What you need to know:
- Olendo said that Dukisa is eligible to play for Kenya, having lived in the country for five years just like Fijian born Jones Kubu, who now features for Kenya Simbas.
- Olendo said that Kubu and Dukisa can play for Kenya Simbas and Kenya Sevens Shujaa at the Rugby World Cup 15s, Rugby World Cup Sevens and Rugby Africa tournaments, but not in Olympic Games.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has explained the inclusion of South African Ntabeni Dukisa and retired fullback Darwin Mukidza in the Kenya Simbas team for the 2023 Currie Cup First Division matches.
Acting KRU secretary general Ray Olendo said that Currie Cup rules don't bar teams or countries from fielding whoever they want hence Dukisa’s selection.
Olendo said that Dukisa is eligible to play for Kenya, having lived in the country for five years just like Fijian born Jones Kubu, who now features for Kenya Simbas.
Olendo said that Kubu and Dukisa can play for Kenya Simbas and Kenya Sevens Shujaa at the Rugby World Cup 15s, Rugby World Cup Sevens and Rugby Africa tournaments, but not in Olympic Games.
“They must acquire Kenyan passports first before they can participate in any Olympic Games qualifiers or the Games itself,” said Olendo, adding that they want Dukisa to mentor Kenyan fly-halves.
“Dukisa will have dual roles...we have been struggling at number 10 positions and he will help us develop players in that position ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers,” said Olendo.
Dukisa has played for Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar since 2018.
World Rugby rules indicated that a player can play for a certain country if he or she has been a member of that union for five years while one can acquire Kenyan citizenship after seven years.
Olendo explained that Kenya Simbas coaches have managed to convince Mukidza, 35, to rescind his decision of retiring from international rugby.
Head coach Jerome Paarwater named Dukisa and Mukidza in his squad of 39 players for Currie Cup First Division that has now been christened Mzansi Challenge.
Mukidza announced his retirement 12 days ago after playeing for Kenya Simba for eight years, earning 47 caps
Mukidza made his debut against Portugal in 2015 in Nairobi and played his last matched for Kenya Simbas at the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualification tournament in France.
Dukisa, who can play at fly-half, fullback or wing, has featured for Border Bulldogs, Griffons and Griquas in Currie Cup First Division as well as Eastern Province Kings in Super Rugby.
While with Border Bulldogs, Dukisa was selected in a South African Barbarians side that played against England during their 2012 tour of South Africa.
Dukisa came on as a substitute just after half-time in the match in Kimberley and he scored a try a few minutes later as the Barbarians lost 26–54 to the touring side.
Dukisa was instrumental as Kabras Sugar won the Kenya Cup last year before defending it a fortnight ago.
Dukisa is among 12 players from Kabras Sugar that make the bulk of Kenya Simbas side.
Kenya Simbas will play three of their 2023 Currie Cup First Division matches at the RFUEA ground.
The Simbas, who will be making their second appearance in the event, will play Zimbabwe Goshawks on May 20 at the RFUEA ground.
They will then take on the East Rand-based Valke Falcons on May 27 before wrapping up against South Western Districts (SWD) Eagles from George (2018 champions) on June 3 at the same ground.
The Simbas will be seeking revenge against the three teams. They lost to Falcons (51-14), SWD Eagles (24-7) and Zimbabwe Goshawks (22-21) respectively in South Africa.
The Simbas ended their maiden Currie Cup campaign with three wins; two of them at the RFUEA. They stunned defending champions Leopards 51-35 and Eastern Province Elephants 41-24 in Nairobi.
Kenya Simbas Squad
Ephraim Odour (Kabras Sugar),Ian Njega (Harlequins), TJ Okidia (KCB), Eugene Sifuna (Kabras Sugar), Teddy Akala (Kabras Sugar), Griffins Musila (KCB), Emmanuel Mulla (Menengai Oilers) Wilhite Mususi (Harlequins)Ian Masheti (Strathmore ), Hillary Mwanjilwa (Kabras Sugar), Elvis Olukusi (KCB), George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar) Sheldon Kahi (Harlequins), Brian Ndirangu (Menengai Oilers), Reinhard Mwalati (MMUST), Jeanson Misoga (Kabras Sugar),Elkeans Musonye (Harlequins)
Samuel Asati (KCB), Barry Robinson (Kabras Sugar), Brain Wahinya (KCB), Ntabeni Dukisa (Kabras Sugar), Timothy Mmasi (MMUST), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Walter Okoth (Kabras Sugar) Joel Inzuga (Mwamba) , Bryceson Adaka (Kabras Sugar), Peter Kilonzo (KCB ), Beldad Ogeta (Menengai Oilers), Alfred Orege (Kabras Sugar), Matoka Matoka (USA), Darwin Mukidza (KCB),Jone Kubu (Kabras Sugar)