Kenya host first Currie Cup match outside South Africa in Nairobi

Simba's Samuel Asati feeding a scrum ahead of the Currie Cup match against Leopards on Saturday at RFUEA ground. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Dan Sikuta will captain Kenya Simbas against Leopards as Kenya makes history on Saturday when they host South African top tier rugby side Leopards in the first Currie Cup match to be played outside South Africa at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi.

KCB’s Davis Change and Emmanuel Silungi will make a return to the squad alongside backs Samuel Asati and Dominic Coulson, and fullback Darwin Mukidza

Simbas will be banking on home ground support hunt for their second Currie Cup win.

Simbas have lost five of the six matches played during their tour in South Africa and they will be seeking to redeem themselves and move up the standings.

The Simbas lost their opening three matches against Falcons 51-14 on April 9 before going down 22-21 to Zimbabwe on April 23 and Griffons 66-33, on April 30.

A 35-12 win over Border Bulldogs on May 7 sprung the team to life before being given a reality check in a back to back defeat to Boland Cavaliers in a 45-33 and SWD Eagles 24-7.

Speaking during the naming of the Simbas team to take on Leopards, head coach Paul Odera said they are confident of registering an improvement today after good preparations in South Africa.

Odera said the team has witnessed good progress in conditioning and mental strength.

"We've made progress in conditioning and mental strength.

 The set-piece has been an area we've struggled so we are a lot more consistent. In our scrums, we were at 60% when we got to South Africa but now we are at 90 going to 100%," he said.

Odera said it has been a massive journey for his players since April and hopes Currie Cup experience will help the Kenyan players ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

He said there is a lot Kenya has to learn from South Africa, who are World champions for a good reason.

Kenya is preparing for the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in France in July with the quarterfinal set to be against Uganda.

The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Group A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.

Kenya Simbas squad

  1. Edward Mwaura Teddy Akala 3. Ephraim Oduor 4. Emmanuel Silungi 5. Davis Chenge 6. George Nyambua 7. Dan Sikuta 8. Bethuel Anami 9. Samuel Asati 10. Dominic Culson 11. Beldad Ogeta 12. John Okoth 13. Vincent Onyala 14. Derrick Ashiundu 15. Darwin Mukidza

Finishers: 16. Eugene Sifuna 17. Andrew siminyu 18. Joseph Odera 19. Thomas Okeyo 20. Martin Owilah 21. Brian Tanga 22. Bryson Adaka 23. Matoka Matoka

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