The side named a full strength side in a bid to win the first major 15s rugby title of the new season and signal their intention to challenge for top honours of the Kenya Cup set to start next weekend.
Speaking to the press after naming his side for the clash, Nondies captain Joseph Wachira, said they were, above all else, relaxed ahead of the clash.
“We have worked hard and will execute our game plan on the day,” he said adding that they have trained well, have a game plan and have the momentum from the good run so far driving them forward to winning.
The deputy coach of the side, Alan Hicks, added they were psyched up and stated that he believed the odds were on their side.
“We have a strong unit in all aspects. The pack is especially strong and the team is good overall, highly fit and does not depend on individuals. Expect an early score and a propelling forward from there,” he added.
Nondies head coach, Kanyi Gitonga, said he believed in preparation, not confidence and said he was satisfied with the team’s readiness.
The former outstanding Machine player and a winner of the Floodlights crown in their colours, he said the key to the game is to match the enthusiasm Machine brought to the tournament.
“They play with passion in the Floodlights, maybe because of historical factors which make it a lucky tournament for them, but we have the experience and knowledge to match them,” he added.
“They will try and play a loose match – kicking and chasing and generally moving the ball wide, while we will come in with a highly structured style in which we settle the game down, make our tackles count, win the scrums, defend strongly and generally do the basics well,” he said.
He added that the team’s combinations were settling well and the position familiarity was beginning to show in their results.
Kanyi lauded their fitness levels – demonstrated in the side’s early scores in all their previous matches, and expressed confidence that their system with a strong emphasis on strategy would carry the day.
“We have seen that the players can change but if the strategy is consistent, then the game plan remains consistent – and this leads to certainty which brings results. Our hard work building up the side and developing it over the past few seasons is now paying off.”
Nondies might however miss the services of Biko Adema, who returned from the opening World Sevens Series in Gold Coast with the national team.
He has however been ably replaced by former Strathmore centre Teddy Salano who pairs up with former Machine utility back and sure kicker, Fielden Sinei.
Other internationals on their roster include burly front-row Derrick Wamalwa, Joseph Wachira at lock, Ronnie Mwenesi on the flank, Ben Nyambu at eighth-man and Calvins Biko at full-back. They also have the former Machine captain, Cedric Odera, on the side.
SQUAD: 1. Edwin Mukunga, 2. Joseph Mutisya, 3. Derrick Wamalwa, 4. Joseph Wachira (Capt.), 5. Spencer Foundamiere, 6. Ronnie Mwenesi, 7. Eric Nyakundi, 8. Ben Nyambu, 9. Collins Kimani, 10. Alex Mutune, 11. Brian Beckham, 12. Teddy Salano, 13. Fielden Sinei, 14. Peter Lugano, 15. Calvins Biko, 16. Alex Wanyaga, 17. Alex Cherry, 18. Cedric Odera, 19. Clive Akello, 20. Samuel Muchai, 21. Leighton Ingati, 22. Joseph Oduor.