Rugby Rugby

Chipu focused for 2018 Junior Trophy

The national Under-20 team during their three-day training camp in Gilgil. PHOTO/KRU

NAIROBI, KENYA, Dec 19- National Under 20 rugby team, Chipu, completed their second training camp this year in Gilgil over the weekend, as they start their preparations for the Rugby Africa U20 Championships in March.

Chipu have been drawn against Zimbabwe in the semifinal set for March 28 in Windhoek, Namibia and if they successfully go past the tie, they will face the winner of the Namibia-Madagascar semifinal at the same venue for the South Zone title.

The U20 South zone winner will then face the U20 North zone for the overall African title, and with it qualification to the 2018 World Rugby Junior Trophy which is the second tier of global competition at the U20 level.

Head coach Paul Odera is confident his boys will be prepared for the championship, though he concedes that he will face challenges assembling a full squad consistently with school and Kenya Cup duties coming in between.

“It’s going to be quite hectic from December because there is the Kenya Cup going on, there are some players who are abroad, there are those players who are in school and then we also have other commitments,” Odera said.

He added; “We are looking to see if we can get players in at least every two weeks in January and most of the weekends in February. That is the plan in terms of developing how we are going to play.”

The tactician says he is impressed with the development of the team compared to last season and is optimistic they will stage better performances as they eye to pick a place on the world stage.

“We have a bigger group of older players who have experience working with us. The plan is to get us to recognize the systems and for the players to see where they are in terms of conditioning,” the coach said.

“Some of the players who have come in are looking very good. It is good for us because when we have more competition, the quality of play developments and gets better,” the tactician further said.