Kenya Simbas head coach Paul Odera has named a 60-man Simbas squad in preparation for the Currie Cup in South Africa and the 2023 Rugby World Cup African qualifiers.
Kenya Sevens stars Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka alongside veterans Oscar Ouma and Daniel Sikuta have been named in the team.
Fijian born Kabras Sugar star Jone Kubu has also been included in the squad to take part in the Currie Cup tournament this month.
Kenya will feature in the Carling Currie Cup First Division, which will have seven local provincial teams.
Georgia, and Zimbabwe in a brand-new competition will join the defending champions, the Leopards, Griffons, South Western Districts, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and the Valke over a single round of action, with the final scheduled for the final weekend of June.
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Menengai Oilers’ Geoffrey Ominde, who also had a phenomenal 2021/2022 campaign with his side that made it to the Kenya Cup final for the very first time in their history, has also been included alongside his team captain Christopher Shitundo and scrum-half Samson Onsomu.
Some of the new inclusions in the squad include Menengai Oilers’ Edward Mwaura, Brian Waraba, Brian Ndirangu, Manasseh Oduor, Clinton Odhiambo, Joseph Shem, Chrispine Shitundo, Teddy Akala among others.
Five players are unavailable for the Currie Cup. They include Toby Francombe and Barry Robinson(school commitments), Malcolm Onsando (club commitments), Michael Wanjala and Michael Kimwele (work commitments).
The five are expected to link up with the Simbas for the final phase of preparations ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers set for July.
After the Currie Cup, the team will shift focus the eight-team Rugby Africa Cup 2022 which will serve as the World Cup qualifiers.
In the tournament where the winners book an automatic ticket, Kenya meet fierce rivals Uganda in the quarters with Namibia, Senegal and Zimbabwe meeting Burkina Faso, Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire respectively in the other pairings.
The runner-up will have to make do with a place in the Final Qualification Tournament to make one final attempt to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023.
Kenya Simbas 60-man squad
Loosehead Props: Ian Njenga (Nondescripts), Andrew Siminyu (University of Johanesburg, South Africa), Edward Mwaura (Menengai Oilers),
Hookers: Eugene Sifuna (Kabras Sugar),Teddy Akala (Kabras Sugar), Coleman Were (Menengai Oilers), Toby Francombe (Boroughmuir, Scotland), Brian Waraba (Kenya Harlequin)
Tighthead Props: Patrick Ouko (KCB), Ephraim Oduor (Kabras Sugar), Joseph Odero (Kabras Sugar)
Locks: Davis Chenge (KCB), Brian Juma (Kabras Sugar), Brian Ndirangu (Menengai Oilers), Thomas Okeyo (University of Johanesburg, South Africa), Manasseh Oduor (KCB), Malcom Onsando ( Sportiv Bucaresti, Romania), Oliver Mang’eni (KCB), Clinton Odhiambo ( Menengai Oilers), Joseph Shem ( Kabras Sugar), Emmanuel Silungi (Yiezreel Rugby Club, Israel)
Blindside Flankers: George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), Oscar Ouma (Zastava, Russia), Bethuel Anami (Strathmore Leos)
Openside Flankers: Dan Sikuta (Kabras Sugar), Martin Owilah (KCB), Kevin Wekesa (Kabras Sugar), Brian Amaitsa (Nondescripts)
Number Eights: Chrispine Shitundo (Menengai Oilers), Felix Ojoo (KCB), Mark Mutuku (Notre Dame University, USA), Elkeans Musonye (Impala Saracens)
Scrum Halves: Samuel Asati (KCB), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Michael Wanjala (KCB), Brian Wahinya (KCB), Barry Robinson (Kabras Sugar), Samson Onsomu (Menengai Oilers)
Fly Halves: Jone Kubu (Kabras Sugar), Anthony Omondi (Mwamba), Geoffrey Ominde (Menengai Oilers), Owain Ashley (Cardiff University, Wales)
Left Wings: Andrew Matoka (Strathmore Leos), Timothy Okwemba (Menengai Oilers), Beldad Ogeta (Menengai Oilers)
Inside Centers: Dominic Coulson (Exeter University), John Okoth (Menengai Oilers), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Walter Okoth (Kabras Sugar), Max Omondi (Catholic Monks)
Outside Centers: Vincent Onyala (KCB), Bryceson Adaka (Kabras Sugar), Peter Kilonzo (KCB)
Right Wings: Jacob Ojee (KCB),Derrick Ashiundu (Kabras Sugar), Michael Kimwele (KCB), William Ambaka (Zastava, Russia)
Full Backs: Jeffrey Mutuku (Notre Dame University, USA), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Isaac Njoroge (KCB)