Rugby Rugby

Skipper Kopondo back to face Tunisia

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Kenya skipper Wilson Kopondo in action during an international test match against Germany at the RFUEA ground on May 27, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – The Kenya 15s team has been boosted with the return of influential skipper Wilson Kopondo ahead of the crucial Africa Gold Cup match against Tunisia on Saturday at the RFUEA Ground.

Kopondo has missed the last two matches after picking up a shoulder injury in the season opening test match against Germany, but according to assistant coach Dominic Habimana, the captain has shown tremendous improvement to walk back into the starting 15.

The Kenya Harlequins star will be one of the six changes that head coach Jerome Paarwater has made from their last match against Uganda with George Nyambua making his full test debut as well as Leo Sejje.

“We are lucky to have Kopondo back in the second row, it’s a great addition to the team and he gives a lot of moral and leadership to the young boys that we have this year and they like playing with him, so I think they will give their whole this weekend. Nyambua (George) is coming up well and we are happy to see him for the first time this season,” Habimana said.

At the same time, Under-20 prodigy Steve Otieno has been named in the team and will be looking to make a mark as Kenya looks to find its first win in Africa Gold Cup after being held to a 33-33 draw by Uganda.

“It’s a new experience but it’s one that is adaptable to and I’m honored to be part of the team, working alongside some of my role models and I hope to be even better than them.”

There are four changes off the bench, Oscar Simiyu, Martin Owila, Dennis Muhanji and Lyle Asiligwa all included in the match day 23.

Oliver Mang’eni is bereaved while Simon Muniafu sits out through injury. Patrice Agunda, James Kubasu, Biko Adema and Brad Owako are all rested for this encounter.

Simbas squad:

  1. Tony Onyango, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. David Ambunya, 12. Leo Seje, 11. Jacob Ojee, 10. Isaac Adimo, 9. Sam Onsomu, 1. Moses Amusala, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. George Nyambua, 6. Eric Kerre, 7. Davis Chenge, 8. Joshua Chisanga Replacements 16. Philip Ikambili, 17. Oscar Simiyu, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. Martin Owila, 20. Steve Otieno, 21. Lyle Asiligwa, 22. Kenny Andola, 23. Dennis Muhanji.
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