NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Kenya Harlequin duo of David Ambunya and Dennis Muhanji are among the notable players who did not make the cut as Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook named a 35-man squad that will do duty at the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup which serves as Africa’s qualifying round for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
This follows after the conclusion of two sets of trials over the past fortnight, in a bid to scout new blood as well as gauging the fitness of seasoned players.
Other regulars who did not make it include Impala fly-half Nato Simiyu, Kenya Sevens players; Bush Mwale, Michael Wanjala (Homeboyz) as well as Nondescripts winger Dennis Ombachi who was listed in the trials conducted by Kenya Cup title winning coach Curtis Olago (KCB), Frank Ndong from Impala Saracens and Kabras Sugar’s Charles Cardovillis.
Three players who played for the Kenya Under-20 squad in Namibia this year; Strathmore Leos winger Edmund Anya, Homboyz center Zeden Marrow and Impala Half-back Xavier Bett made it to the squad.
As expected, Kenya Cup champions KCB RFC produced a huge chunk of players, 11 of them lead by their captain Curtis Lilako while Enterprise Cup winners Homeboyz RFC were second with 7 players led by Phillip Ikambilli.
Impala had 5 players same as Kabras, Strathmore Leos had 2 while Nondies was the club that produced list players with only Biko Adema representing them.
The Kenya Simbas will be out to seek qualification to the World Cup for the first time ever when they start their campaign away to Morocco June 23.
The team will also be out to recapture the African title that they last won in 2013 with Namibia domination the continental trophy.
Simbas 2019 squad
Forwards: Patrick Ouko (Homeboyz), Oscar Simiyu (KCB), Moses Amusala (KCB), Joseph Odero (Kabras), Nelson Nyandat (KCB), Curtis Lilako (KCB), Peter Karia, (KCB), Phillip Ikambilli, (Homeboyz), Coleman Were (Kabras),
Second row: Oliver Mangeni (KCB), Malcolm Onsando (Quins),Eric Kerre (Impala),Wilson Kopondo, (Quins),Andrew Chogo (Kabras),George Nyambua (Kabras),
Backrow: Dalmus Chituyi (Homeboyz), Peter Misango (Quins), Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore), Martin Owila (KCB), Davis Chenge (KCB),
Half-backs: Samson Onsomu (Impala), Xavier Kipngetich (Impala), Mohammed Omollo (Homeboyz),Isaac Adimo (Quins), Biko Adema (Nondies),
Centres: Leo Seje (Impala), Maxwell Kangeri (Homeboyz), Peter Kilonzo (KCB), Zedden Marrow (Homeboyz),
Wingers: Tony Onyango (Homeboyz),Felix Ayange (Kabras), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Edmund Anya (Strathmore),Vincent Mose (Impala)
Simba Rugby Africa Gold Cup fixtures
Saturday 23 June 2018 v Morocco (Away)
Saturday 30 June 2018 v Zimbabwe (Home)
Saturday 7 July 2018 v Uganda (Home)
Saturday 11 August 2018 v Tunisia (Home)
Saturday 18 August 2018 v Namibia (Away)