NAIROBI, Kenya, August 12 – Biko Adema has replaced Kenya captain Innocent Simiyu in the starting line up for Saturday’s Elgon Cup clash against Uganda at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds.
Simiyu had to withdraw from the first leg of the annual encounter after sustaining a hairline fracture on his finger while playing for Impala against Nondies in the Kenya Cup last weekend.
“Our target is to beat them (Uganda) by fifty points and then head to Kampala to finish them off. We want to win the Elgon Cup in Kampala for the first time in our history,” said Kenya coach Michael Otieno.
Despite his belligerence, Otieno is wary of the danger Uganda pose especially after concerns with Kenya’s defence.
“We are expecting Uganda to be good around the contact ball. We have always made defensive blunders against them which they exploit, recycle the ball and score while we are on the back foot,” said the former Kenya fullback.
Otieno who is into his third year as national coach believes that his team should impose themselves early in the game if victory is to be secured.
“We are going to go out there and score early because we don’t want to end up playing catch up rugby. We have worked on our structures and are going to be quite mobile,” said Otieno.
National sevens forward and Kenya Harlequins captain Allan Onyango slots into the backrow for Gray Cullen who is also injured.
Nondies stalwart Mike Aung will lead the team out against their arch rivals as they hope to defend the title.
Impala winger Dan Weku will be making his appearance in starting line up for the first time in two seasons.
The French based flier has been in scintillating form for the Ngong road outfit with his powerful running and will be patrolling the right wing.
Current Kenya Cup top try scorer Horace Otieno has been rewarded for his efforts by being named on the other wing while his Mwamba and national sevens teammate Lavin Asego will call the shots at flyhalf displacing Nato Simiyu who drops to the bench.
Quins three quarter Patrice Agunda has another chance to impress in the cauldron of international rugby when he lines up in the inside centre channel.
Daniel Kiptoo, Vincent Ong’era (Kenya Harlequin FC), Edwin Alubaka (KCB), Michael Aung (Nondescripts RUFC, Captain), Anthony Ogot (KCB), Allan Onyango (Quins), Andrew Amonde (KCB), Wilson Kopondo (Mean Machine), Charles Kanyi (Nondies), Lavin Asego (Mwamba RFC, vice captain), Horace Otieno (Mwamba), Patrice Agunda (Quins), Biko Adema (Nondies), Dan Weku (Impala RFC), Vincent Mose (Impala RFC),
Bench: Dennis Abenga (Nakuru RFC), Joel Ng’ang’a (Quins), Victor Oduor (Quins), Paul Oimbo (Impala RFC), Peter Mutai (KCB), Nato Simiyu (Impala RFC), Naftaly Bondo (Quins).