NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 – Kenya Simbas head coach Jerome Paarwater has made eight changes from the starting line-up that lost to Chile ahead of their second clash against Russia on Tuesday at the Cup of Nations in Hong Kong.
Six starters from Friday’s 23-3 opening loss to Chile; Peter Karia, Oliver Mang’eni, Joshua Chisanga, Leo Owade, Darwin Mukidza, Davis Chenge and skipper Wilson Kopondo retain their places in the starting line up.
The players who have been elevated to the starting squad are Oscar Simiyu, Dennis Karani, Lyle Asiligwa, Biko Adema, Peter Kilonzo and Vincent Mose who all came off the bench on Friday.
Martin Owilah and Alex Olaba who didn’t feature in the Simbas match day one squad will have a chance to prove themselves while Elkeans Musonye, also unused on match day one, starts on the bench.
The players who have been rested are KCB’s Jacob Ojee, Tony Onyango and Eric Kerre.
Russia, ranked 20th in the world, started their Cup of Nations campaign with a narrow 16-13 win over hosts Hong Kong.
Paarwater is out to give game time to his entire 26 man Simbas contingent in the four nations tournament.
“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.
“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 is struggling with a bit of a shoulder knock picked up against Chile so we’ve also given him rest,” he added.
Commenting on the match, 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 two sides and will be streamed live on facebook.com/hkrugby from 12.00pm EAT.
Simbas squad to play Russia
- Vincent Mose, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. Peter Kilonzo, 12. Leo Owade, 11. Alex Olaba, 10. Biko Adema, 9. Lyle Asiligwa,1. Oscar Simiyu, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. Oliver Mang’eni, 6. Davis Chenge,7. Martin Owilah, 8. Joshua Chisanga REPLACEMENTS 16. Philip Ikambili, 17. Moses Amusala, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. George Nyambua, 20. Elkeans Musonye, 21. Sam Onsomu, 22. Nato Simiyu, 23. David Ambunya