50 players for 15s rugby trials

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Fifty players have been called up for trials on Saturday to select the final 35 players for the Kenya 15s international calendar.
Coach Michael Otieno said on Tuesday that the national sevens players will also be considered even though he is spoilt for choice as compared to two years ago when his technical bench had to work with a limited number of players.

“When we took over in 2007, we went to Uganda for the Elgon Cup and had to borrow a player since we weren’t enough because we were totally dependent on the sevens players,” said Otieno.

“I’ve just named a squad of 50 minus the players in London, so we have the depth. Sevens is a totally different ball game from 15s. It does not automatically mean just because you are playing well in sevens doesn’t mean you can do the same in the longer version,” he added.

Kenya will open their campaign with a Victoria Cup clash against Zimbabwe on June 12 followed by a fixture against South African province Mpumalanga a week later in Witbank as a curtain raiser for the test match between the Springboks and Italy.

Otieno’s charges will then host Uganda in the first leg of the Elgon Cup on June 26.

“We have identified a probable Kenya team and a possible team. Both teams will play each other on Saturday and we have 20 players who we will slot in at particular moments so that we can be able to decide on the 35 to take us through the season,” said Otieno.

Nineteen year old centre David Ambunya is one of the seven Kenya Harlequins players that has been named in the probables side in addition to national sevens players Wilson Kopondo and Ben Nyambu.

Five Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) players including flyhalf Jotham Yahuma and backrow Ken Isindu will feature for the possibles alongside Impala’s Kelvin Omiyo and Kevin Gisore who occupy the centre berths.

Most of the players who turned out for the Sharks in the Bamburi Super Series make the reserves including Mean Machine halfback tandem Felix Wanjala and Fidel Sinei and Strathmore winger Felix Ayange.

Kenya Probables:

Edwin Alubaka 2. Vincent Ongera 3. Daniel Kiptoo 4. Wilson Kopondo 5. Mike Aung 6. Ben Nyambu 7. David Mogere 8. Paul Oimbo 9. Peter Mutai 10. Nato Simiyu 11. Peter Abuoga 12. Patrice Agunda 13. David Ambunya 14. Sidney Ashioya 15. Vincent Mose
 

Kenya Possibles:

Lawrence Terer 2. Sammy Warui 3. Joel Nganga 4. Ronnie Mwenesi 5. Tony Mutai 6. Andrew Amonde 7. Oscar Ouma 8. Ken Isindu 9. Mike Mugo 10. Jotham Yahuma 11. Naftaly Bondo 12. Kelvin Omiyo 13. Kevin Gisore 14. Bobby Oyugi 15. Calvins Biko
 

Reserves:

1. Nzioka Muema 2. Dennis Karani 3. Curtis Likalo 4. James Kangethe 5. Joseph Kangethe 6. George Odipo 7. Jake Kamau 8. Newman Opiyo 9. Kevin Umbuge 10. Jeff Ojwach 11. Duncan Ekasi 12. Charles Kanyi 13. Felix Wanjala 14. Ken Andola 15. Edwin Machanje 16. Matthew Musita 17. Fidel Sinei 18. Nick Barasa 19. Richmond Barasa 20. Felix Ayange

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