Kenya Simbas will continue with their push to attain a maiden Rugby World Cup qualification when they face off against Algeria in the semifinals of the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup today at Stade Delort, Marseille, France.
Simbas thrashed neighbouring rivals Uganda 42-7 last Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Rugby Africa Cup doubling up as 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers to move two steps closer to qualification.
The East African heavyweights will tackle a tricky Algerian side that dispatched a strong Senegal outfit 35-12 in the quarters.
Furthermore, Kenya have been dealt a blow after losing Shujaa super star Collins Injera and center Vincent Onyala to injuries.
The injuries which occurred during the win against Uganda have forced head coach Paul Odera to make three changes to the team.
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Kabras Sugar duo Bryceson Adaka and Derrick Ashihindu will replace Injera and Onyala respectively while the third change sees second-rower Martin Owilah come in for Brian Juma.
Speaking ahead of the encounter, Odera said they are targeting to start the game on a high note as they did against Uganda and dominate in possession and defend well.
“We are looking towards the semifinals positively as the boys are in good spirits despite losing key players to injuries. Injera has a strain while Onyala has an ankle problem.”
“Despite that, we are confident in the squad and we believe that they will be able to put pressure on Algeria when the match kicks off,” said Odera.
If Kenya get past Algeria in the semi-finals they will face either Namibia or Zimbabwe in the finals where the winner will clinch a ticket to the 2023 Rugby World Cup while the runners-up will contest for a final intercontinental qualification playoff.
Kenya Simbas Squad: 1. Patrick Ouko, 2. Eugene Sifuna, 3. Ephraim Oduor, 4. Malcolm Onsando, 5. Thomas Okeyo, 6. George Nyambua, 7. Daniel Sikuta – Captain, 8. Bethwel Anami, 9. Samuel Asati, 10. Dominic Coulson, 11. Derrick Ashihundu , 12. John Okoth, 13. Bryceson Adaka, 14. Jacob Ojee, 15. Darwin Mukidza.
Reserves: 16. Teddy Akala, 17. Edward Mwaura, 18. Joseph Odero, 19. Martin Owilah, 20. Davis Chenge, 21. Brian Tanga, 22. Jone Kubu, 23. Andrew Matoka.