May 18 – South African provincial side, Mpumalanga, announced their 35-man tour party for the forthcoming two “Tests” against Kenya in Nairobi at a time when the ability of local players appeared worrying in the ongoing Bamburi Super Series rugby tournament.
The bulk of players to form the Kenya team for the matches against Pumas on June 8 and 11 are in the teams that have reached the weekend semi-finals of the Bamburi Super Series, pitting Rhinos against Uganda’s Ruwenzori and local teams Cheetahs v Sharks.
Rhinos have plenty of Kenyan internationals but their performance in the Super Series showed ineptness in defence and glaring mistakes in handling and decision making when they won 24-19 their last pool match against Lions at Nakuru on Saturday.
It was of concern to both the Kenya head coach, Michael “Tank” Otieno and the Kenya Rugby Union’s chairman of the National Squads Management and Elite Performance board, Edward Rombo.
Rombo agreed with observers who noted that most Bamburi Super Series sides showed inability in defence.
“The players haven’t learnt to stretch out and defend all the way wide. It’s something our internal sevens’ team took long to learn but now they have mastered it. The Kenya team has no choice but to learn the skills to do that too.”
“Tank” said, whereas the Pumas’ tour was coming at a time when Kenya needed more preparation in order to take on the powerful South African provincial players, the opportunity to play intense opposition was welcome.
The Kenya team have had to make do with only three training sessions a week, Monday to Wednesday, the Head Coach said.
“But there will be no place to hide. Mpumalanga will be extremely fierce opponents. When we played them on our tour to South Africa last year, they thrashed us 101-7. That was bad. We hope to raise our game much, much higher. The boys have no choice.”
The two “Tests” at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) ground will be broadcast “live” on SuperSport.
1). De-Jay Terblanche
2). Marthinus Riaan Stefanus van der Westhuizen
3). Brett Anthony Nel
4). Marius Coetzer
5). Willem Jacob Serfontein
6). Cornelius Jacobus Steenkamp
7). Willem Jacobus Sterrenberg Marais Bouwer
8). Christo le Roux
9). Shaun Harold Venter
10). Coenraad George van Wyk
11). Deon Scholtz
12). Tiaan Marx
13). Jacobus Willem Jonker
14). Johan Jackson
15). Carl Bezuidenhout
16). Dawie Steyn
17). Torsten George van Jaarsveld
18). Rudi Mathee
19). Eduan Raymond van der Walt
20). Reginald Walter Kember
21). Tian Carel Meyer
22). Siviwe Wilmot Magaba
23). Johannes Nicolas Mostert
24). Chris Jordaan
25). Wilhelm Loock
26). James Martin Stonehouse
27). Johannes Jonathan du Toit
28). Jannie Hendrik Joubert
29). Jacobus Abraham van der Merwe
30). Marius van Rensburg
31). Jacobus Kruger
32). Hendrik Mentz
33). Pieter Andreas Swanepoel (supporter)
34). Luzahn de Klerk (physio)
35). Gerhardus Christoffel Engelbrecht (team doctor