NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30- Seven debutants have been listed in a 35-man Kenya 15s squad named to kick off training ahead of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup cum 2019 World Cup qualifiers which kicks off in June.
Kisii RFC’s Aggrey Kitoi will lead the host of debutants that also include Coleman Were, Patrick Ouko, Peter Waitere, Michael Wanjala, Mohamed Omolo and Johnstone Mung’au.
BlakBlad’s Levy Amunga who impressed for the Sevens team during last weekend’s Victoria Sevens in Zimbabwe returns to the squad alongside Kabras loose-head Joseph Odero.
The squad is dominated by KCB Kenya Cup winning players who total 12 of the 35 players with losing finalists Kabras also contributing to a huge chunk of the team.
Also named in the squad is former Impala Saracens lock Simon Muniafu who joined French second division club Decazeville last year.
The squad begins training next week where they will meet the new head coach Ian Snook who will come in with his assistant Murray Roulston to kick off preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.
The Simbas start their 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign away to Morocco in June next year as they seek to clinch a spot at the 2019 World Cup and reclaim the Gold Cup they last won in 2013.
After Morocco, the team will play back to back at home, hosting Zimbabwe and Uganda. The continental showdown will then take a four-week break to allow teams compete at the Sevens Rugby World Cup Sevens that will take place from July 20-22 in San Francisco, USA.
The chase for Africa Cup will resume on August 11 when the Simbas host Tunisia in Nairobi before travelling away to Namibia on August 18.
Simbas training squad
FORWARDS: Moses Amusala, Oliver Mang’eni, Davis Chenge, Oscar Simiyu, Peter Karia, Peter Waitere*, Martin Owila, Curtis Lilako (KCB), Coleman Were*, Joseph Odero, George Nyambua, (Kabras), Eric Kerre, Dennis Karani (Impala), Patrick Ouko* Philip Ikambili, Steve Otieno (Homeboyz), Wilson Kopondo (Quins, Capt),Simon Muniafu (Sporting Club Decazevillois, Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore).
BACKS: Samson Onsomu, Nato Simiyu, Vincent Mosse, Leo Sejje (Impala), Darwin Mukidza, Peter Kilonzo, Jacob Ojee, Michael Wanjala* (KCB), Tonny Onyango, Mohamed Omollo* (Homeboyz), Levy Amunga (Blak Blad), Biko Adema (Nondescripts), Dennis Muhanji (Quins), Brad Owako (Mwamba), Johnstone Mung’au* (Kabras), Aggrey Kitoi* (Kisii).