14 August 2017

Kenya to Name Strong Squad for Hong Kong

The final Kenya Simbas squad to play Hong Kong in two international test rugby matches in Nairobi will be named on Wednesday at the RFUEA grounds.

Simbas will play the Dragons on August 20 and August 26 at the RFUEA grounds.

Simbas team manager Wangila Simuyu said they will name a strong side that will be a fuse of youth and experience. Simiyu revealed they are taking the two matches seriously and thus the need to put out a strong side.

"These two matches are very crucial for us and we therefore need to field a side that will claim victory. Hong Kong are a top side and they will give us the kind of match we need as we prepare for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers," Wangila told Nation Sport on Monday.

Simbas will be using the matches to prepare for November's four nations test series in Hong Kong and next year's 2019 World Cup qualifiers. Wangila confirmed that Kenya has landed an invite to the Hong Kong Cup slated for November 10 to 18 this year. Simbas will play defending champions Russia (21), Chile (27) and the hosts.

Simbas, who finished second in at the recent Africa Gold Cup, resumed training last Monday before they broke for the General Elections and then resumed on Saturday. The team coached Jerome Paarwater will resume training once the 40-man team squad has been whittled down to 28.

"We've heard a pretty good session and I am sure the final squad will give our best against Hong Kong, Simuyu added.

The 28-man Hong Kong team will arrive in Nairobi on Friday led by head coach Leigh Jones and skipper Nick Hewson.

Hong Kong are ranked 24th in the world, one place above Kenya. The visitors, just like the hosts, will be using the test matches as part of their preparations for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers.

The 2019 edition will be held in Japan.

Former South Africa Sevens and Western Province speedster Egon Seconds will be the man in charge of the first test.

Simbas ran out 34-10 winners in last year's test match between the two sides played at the RFUEA grounds

Meanwhile, ticket prices for the two match test fixtures are already on sale. Advance tickets are going for Sh400 (regular) and Sh1,000 (VIP) per game with entrance at the gate fixed at Sh500 on each match day.

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