NAIROBI, Kenya, January 7 – Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has confirmed the national 15s team will participate in the Provincial Vodacom League in South Africa this weekend in preparation of the 2015 World Cup qualifiers that will take place in June.
At the same time, the sevens side is in the same country for the George Sevens Premier League also to be played at the same weekend where Kenya will take on Living Ball and Leopards in Group D of the invitational competition.
According to KRU boss, Mwangi Muthee, the XVs who are drawn to take on Namibia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar in the last qualifiers for the World Cup in Madagascar will play in the South African league to step up preparations.
“We have received confirmation from the South Africa Rugby Union that we are in. This will be a defining moment for our national team and a dress rehearsal for our quest to qualify for the World Cup,” the KRU boss said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Under the sevens head coach Paul Treu, the 7s program is firmly in place and therefore, we shall be concentrating on other matters such as the growth of the national 15s and their mission to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.”
Treu is expected to field players who were unavailable in the HSBC World Series rounds of Dubai, George and Gold Coast such as former skipper Humphrey Kayange, Nakuru RFC’s Oscar Ouma and Mwamba’s Dennis Ombachi in the George 7s Premier League tournament.
Shujaa, who have been camping in the Western Cape Province since Friday, will battle it out with Living Balla and Leopards ahead of the fourth round of the World Series, Las Vegas 7s, scheduled to run on the weekend of January 24 and 26.
“The current camp for the Sevens squad in South Africa was arranged by Treu. This was a fantastic offer that cost us only Sh1.2m (USD13,808.98) compared to a similar project in England, prior to the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia, we paid Sh3m (USD34,522.44). This is a huge saving and we are grateful to the couch and his contacts in South Africa,” Muthee added.
Leading players from South Africa turning out for teams such as Samurai International, Kaiser Chiefs, Eye of the Tiger, Leopards, Western Province, Masakhane Old Boys and Sharks are expected to take part in the event.
The chairman confirmed debate, contributions and opinions about a new KRU constitution and structures of administration at the Unions headquarters have now been concluded.
“When a new constitution is in place, the Role and tenure of the Chief Executive Officer, for example and Chief Finance officer will become clearer. Stakeholders will be required to endorse the new dispensation with the new constitution.”