Province boss tips Kenya XV for RWC


TUSKER-SIMBAS-XVNAIROBI, Kenya, June 5 – South African Rugby 15s giants Western Province head coach John Dobson, has tipped Kenya to qualify in next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

Dobson was speaking when the team of 23 players and seven officials arrived in the country on Thursday ahead of their Saturday’s test match against the national team at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds.

The hosts will be using the build up match as preparation for their Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Division 1A championships in Madagascar this month, which also serves as the continental qualifiers for the global showpiece.

“Kenya is a great side, we had an opportunity to see how they play in the Vodacom Cup and from what we saw, they are so close to the World Cup which is an amazing achievement and we are here to help them finalise their dream,” Dobson told Capital Sport.

“It’s an important game for us since we are building up for our own CAR Cup in the Super Rugby that is going on but the Kenyan guys will be playing to fight for a place in the first team for Madagascar so its going to be a tough match since we will be playing a better side than we left them early in the year.

“They are boosted by their 7s players and what I really like about the game is that both sides play very attractive rugby so we are expecting an exiting match,” he added.

Dobson urged Kenya to concentrate on building a strong 15s side from grassroots since they have the potential compared to other African teams apart from South Africa.

“There is great improvement from the last two years because they are physically fit and when we played them sometimes back, they bullied us since they are strong so I think the real future of Kenyan rugby is on 15s.

“They are good in 7s but it’s not the main stream. The whole world will be watching the

World Cup next year and the advantage you guys have over other African teams is that you are physicality fit,” he explained.

However, the coach said it will take some time for Kenya to start playing professional but if they make it to the World Cup it will be a big milestone.

“It’s going to take a few years because we have 130 years of history and tradition adding to the massive schools that plays rugby but I think KRU officials have done a good work in developing the game at the grassroots level,” he concluded.

The South Africans have included seven players with Super Rugby experience in their travelling party who are; Michael van der Spuy, Dylan Frylink, Gary van Aswegen, Devon Williams, Jean Kleyn, Sithembiso Sithole and Stephan Coetzee.

Kenya who has strengthened her squad by calling eight 7s players, will be seeking to defend her continental title when they take on host Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe in a round robin format and also qualify for the global showpiece for the first time ever.

The fixture will be preceded by the Bamburi Rugby Super Series final where Papa Nguvu will battle it out with UAP Kifaru with the winner playing Tusker Simba for the last build up match in a week’s time.