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South African help for 15s team

NAIROBI, July 16 – Former Springbok forward Hendrick Bekker arrived in the country on Wednesday to prepare the national 15s rugby team for its forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Tunisia.

Speaking to Capital Sport, Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) Director Sasha Mutai said Bekker who was accompanied by Stormers conditioning coach Greg Douglas Hecter arrived on Wednesday afternoon for a week-long training stint with the national side.

“Hector is one of the most respected names in Rugby in South Africa and he has accepted to come to Kenya together with Douglas to help our 15s side get ready for the trip to Tunis,” said Sasha.

Mutai added that a detailed program for the training sessions has already been drawn up. “They will review recordings of all the recent Kenya matches and get a feel of what the team requires and what they will need to work on in training,” he said.

Hector is expected to concentrate on conditioning the training of the various units of the team to work together in synergy, which has been a problem in the past, including in the recent match against the Cameroon side.

Kenya lost 5-13 to Tunisia in Tunis recently but they had earlier beaten the North Africans 22-19 in Nairobi.

At the same time, team manager Wangila Simiyu said he’s bracing for the worst in Tunis after their experiences the last time they visited the Maghreb nation.

“We were treated very indifferently when we went to Tunis. Accommodation, food and training facilities were all questionable,” he recalled.

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Wangila also called for more support from the Ministry of Sport in making provisions for the sport in the country, considering the success it has brought to the nation on the global stage.

Kenya whitewashed Cameroon 76-8 last Sunday at the RFUEA grounds making it one of the biggest wins by Kenya over a visiting team in recent times.

The game, which was pushed forward by a day following the late arrival of Cameroon, saw Kenya climb to the top of Pool ‘C’ by virtue of a better points aggregate with a match in hand against Tunisia on August 2.

Winger Collins Injera scored three of the 10 tries, nine of which were converted, while Cameroon replied with one try and a penalty.

Elsewhere, Cote d’Ivoire beat Zambia 32-9 in Abidjan while Madagascar overcame Botswana 45-15 in Antananarivo. The match between Senegal and Zimbabwe, which was supposed to be played in Harare was postponed after the Senegalese raised security concerns.

The winner of each of the pools will play in the semi-finals and final of the qualification process next year. Kenya departs for Tunis on July 30, for the match that is set for August 2.

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