Kenya Cup champions Harlequins form the bulk of the 22-member side that was unveiled on Wednesday by head coach Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno with the new players filling the slots vacated by Rugby 7s players participating in the IRB series.
“It’s my hope that the 7s players will be available after London and Scotland legs for the Victoria Cup,” Otieno added at the RFUEA Grounds where he listed his team.
Eden Agero, Chris Odour and Nick Barasa of Quins, Duncan Mwangi and Sammy Warui of Nakuru RFC, Strathmore’s Maurice Mbai, Mwamba’s Daniel Sikuta and Steve Sakwa of Homeboyz are the fresh call-ups.
Joel Nganga of Quins will be the captain of the side with teammate Tony Mutai left out after he picked at injury playing for the club.
“Quins played well throughout the season and it’s just a coincidence that they form the bulk of the team since we don’t pick players according to clubs,” Otieno clarified.
He added: “Ugandans are very strong in the front, so our defence will be key especially in the first 20 minutes, since if we are able to contain them without conceding any points then we can set up our platform to attack and prevail.”
The tactician does not expect the long road trip to Kampala that starts on Wednesday evening to have any effect on his charges.
“We would have wished to fly but we can’t due to logistical constraints, but I’m certain the boys are prepared psychologically and believe that by match day we will be set to face the Ugandans and give them a run for their money.”
He will be deputized by Dominique Habimana with Wangila Simiyu as the team manager on the technical bench.
At the same time Sammy Kemmy named his women 15s squad that will depart on Thursday to Kampala for their first leg encounter against the Ugandan female side.
The team will be led by Abedeen Shikoyi as captain.
MEN 15S SQUAD
Jeol Nganga, Dennis Karani, Wilson Kopondo, Brian Nyakuli, Eden Agero, Nick Barasa, Chris Odour, Leslie Libasia (all Harlequins), Duncan Ekasi, Vincent Mose, Lawrence Buyachi (Impala), Sammy Warui, Duncan Mwangi (Nakuru), Keny Adola, Maurice Mbai (Strathmore), Curtis Likako, Matthew Musita (KCB), Calvin Biko,
Ronnie Mwenesi (Nondies) Steve Sakwa, Kelvin Omiyo (Homeboyz), Daniel Sikuta (Mwamba).