NAIROBI, July 9 – Eight national sevens rugby team players have been included in the national 15s starting lineup for Saturday’s World Cup qualifying match against Cameroon.
Head coach Michael Tank Otieno has made 11 changes to the team that lost to Uganda in a Tusker Elgon cup fixture last month as they prepare to take on the Central Africans at the RFUEA grounds.
Allan Onyango, George Mbaye, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Biko Adema, Humphrey Kayange, Horace Owiti and Innocent Simiyu have all been drafted from the shorter version of the game.
“We go by the best and players from the sevens team have more exposure and experience so we decided to include them. They are available and have been turning up for training and will definitely add bite to our side,” he said.
Victor Sudi who twisted his left knee during the Kenya Cup match against Nakuru last Saturday is out as is Lewis Olaka due to work commitments while Anthony Ogot was left out disciplinary grounds.
Kenya beat Cameroon in Yaoundé in last year’s Confederation of Africa match but Otieno is bracing himself for a tougher assignment on Saturday.
“They are going to be much tougher this weekend because this is a world cup qualifier and teams don’t leave anything to chance so they are going to be much tougher,” he observed.
He however stated that his charges will go all out for a win, “It will be harder but we will go all out for a win because the boys are hungry and want to prove their worth.”
Kenya suffered a disappointing outing last time out losing 20-3 to Uganda but Otieno believes it will not have a bearing on Saturday’s game, “ We made crucial mistakes in defence, lineout as well as missing four kickable penalties but we have worked on those areas and will be more than ready.”
Cameroon are expected in the country on Thursday.
Daniel Kiptoo, Vincent Ongera, Derrick Wamalwa, Paul Oketch, George Odipo, Wilson Kopondo, Allan Onyango, George Mbaye, Peter Mutai, Lavin Asaego, Collins INjera, Biko Adema, Humphrey Kayange, Horace Owiti and Innocent Simiyu.