Rugby Rugby

Simba out to avoid Africa Cup Div 1A axe

Kenya’s Brian Okwomi in action against Tunisia in 2011. Kenya won this match 16-7 to be crowned African champions. (FILE PHOTO KRU)

NAIROBI, June 23 – The national 15s team face an uphill task of avoiding Africa Cup Division 1A Championship relegation when they host Tunisia in the second round at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Sunday.

Both sides suffered eight point losses in their opening fixtures with Simba going down 20-28 away to Zimbabwe whilst Tunisia lost 14-22 at home to World Cup bound Namibia fortnight ago.

The result left Jerome Paarwater charges with a must win on Sunday to revive their chances of reclaiming the continental title they last listed two years ago before wrapping up their round robin fixture with a tough clash away to champions Namibia.

However, Kenya are boosted by the availability of former skipper, Wilson Kopondo who missed the last two matches against Portugal international test play and Zimbabwe due to academic commitments.

The Kenya Harlequin FC lock alongside KCB RFC forward Maxwell Adaka who was injured, resumed training on Monday but Kabras Sugar duo of Edwin Achayo and Nick Baraza are still recovering from injury.

The two sides have met seven times; with Tunisia who are ranked nine places above Kenya in the world having a better head to head record on four wins compared to Simba’s three.

Kenya, who dropped to 39th after the Sables loss, won the last two fixtures, a 31-24 win in the 2012 edition and a 16-7 result in 2011 that saw Simba lift an inaugural African title.

The match that will kick-off at 4pm local time will be preceded by a curtain raiser match pitting Kenya Under-19, the Chipu against National Secondary Schools Games champions Laiser Hill in the curtain raiser match.

Both sides will use the fixture as a build up ahead of their upcoming assignments where Laiser Hill are preparing for the East African School Games in August while Chipu will be up for the Rugby Afrique Division 1A U-19 championships in Harare also in August.