Will Kenya finally turn the tables on Namibia in international under-20 rugby meeting?
Buoyant Kenya’s Chipu face their Namibian counterparts in the Under-20 Barthes Trophy Pool ‘A’ final at KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka, Nairobi on Sunday for the third successive time.
Namibia’s Welwitschias have in fact beaten Kenya in the four finals the two rivals have meet in dating back six years.
Since Africa junior rugby tournament started in 2007, Kenya has suffered final losses to Namibia, falling in 2013 (51-8), 2014 (52-17), 2017 (66-24) and 2018 (37-18). Despite that poor record against heavyweights Namibia, hosts Kenya are inspired to rewrite history and there is more at stake with the winner securing a place in the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy.
“Morale is quite high in the camp as we have also been boosted by the availability of Dominic Coulson and Jeff Mutuku. Coulson is fully fit, while Mutuku will need a final assessment later today (Saturday). Mutuku is 80 per cent fit to play in the final. He will definitely be there tomorrow (Sunday),” Kenya team manager Jimmy Mnene told Nation Sport from their Brookhouse Academy base Saturday.
“We will review the final we played against Namibia last year. We have also worked on our set pieces,” said Menene relishing the clash with the fancied Namibians.
Mnene urged local rugby fans to turn up at KCB Sports Club in large numbers. Paul Odera’s charges demolished Tunisia 73-0 in the second semi-final while Namibia crushed Senegal 45-12 in the other last four encounter on Thursday.
Ian Njenga, Bonface Ochieng (captain), Rotuk Rahedi, Emmanuel Silungi, Hibrahim Ayoo, James Mcgreevy, Brian Amaitsa, Darren Kahi, Samuel Asati (vice captain), Dominic Coulson, Beldad Ogeta, Owain Ashley, George Maranga, Geoffrey Okwach, Jeff Mutuku, Wilfred Waswa, Collins Obure, Ian Masheti, Frank Aduda, George Kiryazi, Samuel Were, Barry Young, Douglas Kahuri, Michele Brighetti, Andrew Matoka
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