NAIROBI, Kenya, April 29 – The battle lines have been drawn as this year’s Bamburi Rugby Super Series kick-off Saturday with two fixtures in Nairobi.
Defending champions, Rhino’s will launch their defence against the Sharks in an encounter that will be preceded by beaten finalists, Cheetahs rumble against Ugandan franchise Ruwezori.
Both match-ups will be played at Kenya’s home of the sport, the Rugby Football Union if East Africa grounds and will be televised live on pay-television channel SuperSport from 2pm local time (+3GMT).
In the prelude to the games, Rhino’s assistant coach, Charles Cardovillis, cited the impulsive nature of the Sharks who consist of university sides would make their opening encounter a banana skin affair.
“We expect a lot of enterprising rugby from the Sharks. They will play a good, fast and organised game. It’s quite a tough challenge especially since we know how the first games of any competition can be, very unpredictable,” Cardovillis said.
He added: “We have obviously put measures in place to tackle them and we have four new
Cheetahs’ vice-captain, Victor Mose urged caution as his side embarks on the mission to win a third Super Series crown.
“The Ugandan side are going to be very physical since they have very heavy forwards. The Ugandans are coming here to win this tournament for the first time but we are willing to take them head on,” Mose stated.
“We believe we will be successful at the end of the day since the players this time round are very focused to win the tournament,” the vice-skipper expressed.
Rhinos have strengthened their squad with national sevens teams player Wilson Kopondo set to line against his former team.
Their strength lies in an immovable front row led by Daniel Kiptoo, Vincent Ongera and Joel Nganga. Loose forwards Victor Oduor, Nick Lango and Leslie Libasia add to their tight unit.
Cheetahs possess seasoned campaigners like Frank Ndong and Mike Aung who will guide younger players while Paul Oimbo, Lawrence Buyachi and Ben Nyambu are strong ball carriers crucial against a team full of Ugandan test players.
Eight franchises will take part in the event. Buffaloes, Cheetahs, Lions, Rhinos and Sharks from Kenya, Rwenzori and Victoria from Uganda and Twigas from Tanzania.