NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – After a two and-a-half month training program, Kenya Under-20 head coach paul Odera has whittled down his squad for the 2019 Barthes Cup to 36 ahead of the championship set for April 4 and 7.
The team has been training thrice a week; Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday since January as they prepare for the four-team tournament that will be held at the RFUEA ground.
Among those named in the final squad includes Homeboyz’s Johnston Olindi who has picked up immense experience playing for the national sevens team at the World Series.
Odera has also named six foreign based players led by University of Pretoria’s Jeff Mutuku who has been a core figure of the Under-20 team over the last two years.
“We’ve seen that there are players who are able to deal with the pressure of playing at International rugby level and they’ve also learnt a lot about themselves. We have around 10 players returning from last year’s championship which is good experience and a big boost for our preparations having come close to beating Namibia last year,” said Team manager Jimmy Munene.
Chipu, as the team is commonly referred as start their campaign against Kenya on April 4 in the late kick off after Namibia face off Senegal in the early tie.
The winners of the two matches will square out against each other in the final on Sunday with the winner set to earn a ticket to the Junior World Rugby Trophy Championship later in the year.
Ian Njenga, Brian Amaitsa (Nondies), Steve Biko, Bonface Ochieng, James Mcgreevy, Douglas Kahuri (Kenya Harlequins), Wilfred Waswa (Northern Suburbs), Jeff Kiragu, Kelvin Munene (USIU Africa ), Collins Obure, Sheldon Kahi (Blakblad), Ian Masheti, Frank Aduda (Impala Saracens), Edward Mwaura, Ibrahim Ayoo, Beldad Ogeta (Menengai Oilers ), Emmanuel Silungi, Johnstone Olindi, Kelvin Agwambo (Homeboyz), Martin Oyugi, Charles Wangwe (Mwamba), Samuel Osongo, Alspencer Owade (Laiser Hill Academy), Samuel Asati, Stephen Osumba, George Maranga, Geoffrey Okwach (KCB), Lorence Ishuga, John Okoth (Nakuru RFC), Andrew Matoka (Strathmore Leos ).
Jeff Mutuku (University of Pretoria), Ashley Owain (Merchiston Castle School, UK), Ashley Owain, George Kiryazi (Merchiston Castle School, UK), Dominic Coulson (Marlborough College, UK), Rotuk Rahedi (Millfield School, UK), Andrew Siminyu (Sharks Academy)