NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 -The national 15s team dropped two places in the latest World Rugby rankings, slumping to 29th from 27th.
This has been occasioned by their 23-3 shock defeat to Chile in the ongoing Cup of Nations in Hong Kong that involves four teams; hosts Hong Kong, Kenya, Russia and Chile.
The South America team benefited from the win to move a place up to now occupy Kenya’s previous place (27th), Hong Kong fell two places to be placed 24th after losing 16-13 to Russia in the tournament’s opener.
Biggest movers were Russia who now are placed 18th after their win against Hong Kong, climbing two places up from their previous 20th spot.
However, the Kenya Simbas have a chance to redeem themselves when they face defending champions Russia in their second match in Hong Kong on Tuesday. A win will see Simbas stand a chance to hugely move up the rankings.
Head coach Jerome Paarwater is aware of the task awaiting his charges against Russia in a match set to kick off 12pm EAT, having made eight changes from his starting line-up that lost to Chile.
The two sides will be meeting for the first time in a test match.
“We’ve changed the squad for Tuesday’s game because we brought 26 players over and want to give every player a chance to start or feature in the games. Friday’s starting front row with the exception of Karia is rested,” Paarwater said on the eve of the match.
“Ikambili remains on the bench though he had some game time against Chile. Jacob Ojee and Tony Onyango get a total rest for this game while Eric Kerre,he is struggling with a bit of a shoulder knock picked up against Chile so we’ve also given him rest,” he added.
Paarwater expects a physical challenge from Russia, “They are a different challenge to us because they are physical but the guys are looking ready to go. It will be a tough game but we hope the outcome can be in our favor.”
Tuesday’s encounter will be the first ever test match between the Simbas and Russia.
New Zealand is still topping the globe followed by England, Australia are third, Ireland fourth while South Africa closes the top five in the standings.
After South Africa, Namibia is the second best placed team in Africa, Kenya is third while Uganda are fourth in the continent.