MMUST vow to floor any opponent in new season

By Washington Onyango: Thursday, October 24th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
MMUST RFC captain Samwel Mbeche (left) in action during championship playoffs with Kisumu RFC at Mamboleo Showground on April 27, 2019, in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango/Standard]

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST RFC) and United States International University (USIU RFC) have made vital reinforcements to their squads ahead of the 2019/2020 KRU Championship season.

Most of the teams have, however, resolved to maintain their squads of last season and will compete for the race to Kenya Cup promotion slots without new faces.

Speaking to the Standard Sports, MMUST team manager Meshack Nyambane confirmed the arrival of two new players and contract extensions of three others, who impressed during last season.

They brought in Jadah Abdon from Kenya Cup side Kisumu RFC and Nelson Babu from St Peter’s Mumias School.

The team also extended contracts of Kenya Sevens junior international Timothy Mmasi, Tyson Juma and Gibson Kajilwa.

“Part of our squad is intact and we only made some slight adjustments after losing Ejakait Okwemba and Emmanuel Makwata to Oilers.

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The team has been training well and we are ready for the new season,” Nyambane said.

MMUST will face Egerton Wasps away in their first match of the season as they look to build on their semifinals playoff finish of last season.

In Nairobi, United States International University (USIU RFC) head coach Tom Lagat confirmed the arrival of Desire Adriko and Nevile Odongo from Uganda and Francis Otieno from Shams Rugby Foundation.

“The three bring in speed and new energy which will greatly be important in winning our top matches as we push to make the playoffs,” Lagat said.

Novices Northern Suburbs and Eldoret RFC from the Nationwide league will join Strathmore University and Mean Machine, who were relegated from Kenya Cup as  12 teams once again begin search for Kenya Cup promotion.

Strathmore Leos lead the Eastern Conference that has Mean Machine, Catholic Monks, Mombasa RFC, South Coast Pirates and Northern Suburbs.

Western conference has USIU, MMUST, Kisii RFC, University of Eldoret (UoE), Egerton Wasps and Eldoret RFC.

The first matches will see Leos welcome Northern Suburbs, Mombasa RFC entertain Catholic Monks, Machine head to South Coast Pirates, USIU play Eldoret, Kisii travel to UoE and Egerton Wasps host MMUST.

Meanwhile, Former Western Bulls coach Brian Makalama has been named as the new Kisumu RFC tactician ahead of the 2019-20 Kenya Cup season that begins this weekend.

Makalama will take over from Howard Okwemba who led Kisumu RFC to Kenya Cup promotion after a five-year absence, with a new management team coming on board at the Lake side team.

Kisumu RFC Secretary Jaycox Mwavali said Makalama has been handed a one-year contract.

“We have appointed Makalama to guide our team in the top league since he has a greater understanding of the game. Our target is to maintain our Kenya Cup status, not to be relegated,” Mwavali said.

“He is a renowned coach because of his track-record where he had a successful time with Western Bulls as well as the Uganda national team.”

Makalama will be assisted by Dick Osano and former Catholic Monks player Caleb Kiproitich, who will be the team manager.

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