NAIROBI, Kenya, April 14 – The teams that will take part in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Junior World Rugby Trophy arrive in the country at the end of the week.
Last year’s runners up Chile arrive on Thursday while the rest of the countries are scheduled on Kenyan shores the following day.
“Final preparations are at advanced stage. Impala and RFUEA (Rugby Football Union of East Africa) grounds are set to host the tournament,” tournament organizer Vincent Lukalo told Capital Sport.
“Once the tournament kicks off, each team will be paired with a local club or visit selected estates to carry out age grade coaching clinics for the duration of the tournament,” he added.
The clinics are part of a legacy programme which will see significant improvements in rugby facilities and grassroots coaching countrywide.
The national under 20 team is currently undergoing training at the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Jamhuri Showground under the tutelage of former international and Strathmore University coach Mitch Ocholla.
The team will train from Tuesday up to Thursday when they will take a break and then reassemble on Friday.
Kenya is in Pool A with the United States, Namibia and the Cayman Islands. Pool B has Romania, Papua New Guinea, South Korea and Chile.
The hosts open their account against Namibia on April 21 at the newly revamped RFUEA ground. Their next match will be against USA on April 25 and will wrap up their pool assignments against the Cayman Islands on April 29 at Impala grounds.
USA who were relegatd from the IRB Junior World Championship will be keen to return to the top tier of world junior rugby and is undoubtedly one of the team’s to watch.
The squad was selected after the recent Fort Lauderdale Invitational Tournament, where 31 players competed in three games against Rugby Super League clubs.
The players have also had three camps since the IRB Junior World Championship to prepare for this challenge, a summer camp last July, a winter one in December and a development camp this February.
The two pool winners will progress to the tournament final with the winner earning promotion to next year’s IRB Junior World Championship.
Kenya Under- 20 squad:
Forwards: Lilako Curtis, Dennis Karani, Eric Kitheka, Mathew Musalia, Jeremy Wandui, Oscar Achieng, Ryan Awori, Mugambi Kithamba, Steve Muniafu, Kevin Gacheru, Collins Omae, Ken Kangaya, Jeff Ojwach, Joel Ouko, Cedric Okich.
Backs: George Mutuku, Robert Ouko, Kenny Andola, Anthony Nyandigisi, Patrice Agunda, Graham Dinda, Joseph Osore, Felix Otiende, Michael Matayo, Owen Ocholla, Oscar Otindo
Technical bench: Mitch Ocholla (coach), Paul Murunga (assistant coach)