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Friendly adventure: South Africa’s Western Province team arrives this morning to play Kenya at RFUEA on Saturday

FOOTBALL By BS MULAVI | June 5th 2014 | 3 min read
DHL Western Province player scores a try at a past championship in South Africa. The team  jets in today for friendly match. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

 The Kenya Rugby Union have expressed their confidence that the match against Western Province on Saturday evening will help the national team prepare adequately for the upcoming Confederation of African Rugby tournament.

The top bill in the preparations for the tournament which also doubles as the World Cup qualifiers, was expected to be a tough fixture against Portugal in Nairobi, however the match will not be held due to security concerns.

Speaking to our sister publication Game Yetu Rugby Services Manager Michael Otieno said, “It’s unfortunate that Portugal will be unable to travel, even though we tried all avenues within our means to persuade them that they will be safe.”

“We, however, have a very strong relationship with our South African brothers and hence we are glad that Western Province will be available. Our aim remains to qualify for the World Cup and the experience we are getting from South Africa has been vital,” he added.

The South African side jets into the country today morning ahead of their international friendly against Kenya this Saturday.

This fixture will be the top bill on an action packed day at the RFUEA grounds which will be preceded by the Bamburi Rugby Super Series final pitting Nguvu Papa and UAP Kifaru.

 The South Africans have included seven players with Super Rugby experience in their travelling party namely Michael van der Spuy, Dylan Frylink, Gary van Aswegen, Devon Williams, Jean Kleyn, Sithembiso Sithole and Stephan Coetzee.

They will feature alongside other players who mostly took part in the recently concluded Vodacom Cup.

Final round

 This fixture against Western Province will be Kenya’s last build up ahead of the forthcoming Confederation of African Rugby Division 1A championships in Madagascar which will serve as the final round of African qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Kenya is expected to pull out all the stops in their bid to qualify for the World Cup, which means that they are ready to call in Sevens Team players to the squad to boost their chances of qualification.                                                                                        Previously the two sides (15s and 7s) have been separated but with the stakes looking this high KRU may be forced to renege on that decision.

Qualification for the global championship will mean Kenya will get both financial and tactical assistance from the International Rugby Board, which is an incentive for the KRU.

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