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Dragons ready for reinforced Kenya Simbas

Hong Kong Dragons centre Tyler Spitz is out of his side’s second test match against a revamped Kenya Simbas on Saturday at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground.

Head coach Leigh Jones said that skipper hooker Jamie Tsang and full-back Liam Gallaher are also doubtful for the match after they picked up injuries during their 19-19 draw with Simbas in their first Test on Sunday.

However, Jones said that they were looking forward hope to another keen battle.

He said that Kenya Simbas’s move to overhaul their starting lineup with first team picks showed a respect ahead of the Test match.

Jones said that the match will give them the real picture of where they stand technically and tactically as they too prepare for the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup qualifiers due for next year.

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“The changes shows how serious our hosts are taking the duel hence we should be in for a great encounter,” said Jones after his team conducted a rugby clinic for RUCKiT Community Rugby team at Ngong Road Posta grounds on Thursday evening.

“It gives us something to think about ahead of the match.”

Jones reckoned that Simbas’ strength lay in their attractive open attack play. He said that a little bit of training and man power in their pack would see Kenya pose a great danger to their continental opponents.

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Jones said their outing in Kenya was part of their pre-season preparations.

“Despite the three injuries, the remaining squad of 25 players that is a blend of youth and experience should deliver against Kenya,” said Jones.

“I know they plan to put us under intense pressure and we are ready for them.”

With Isaac Adimo in at fly half and Tony Onyango at full back, some organisation, decision making and kicking for territory should be enhanced for Kenya unlike last weekend when they teams showed worrying frailties.

“Our intensity should pick with more support play being witnessed. Mental alertness and territorial kicking should also improve,” said deputy skipper Darwin Mukidza.

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Jones regretted the absence of six of their sevens rugby players saying their presence could have given them an extra dimension in the game.

The players are Rowan Varty, Jamie Hood (captain), Alex McQueen, Lee Jones, Ben Rimene and Yui Kam Shing.

However, Jones said, just like Kenya, they were trying to build momentum for the Cup of Nations tournament that will feature them, Kenya, Chile and Russia in November this year, and next year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

“We are happy to have more test matches this year but we have also put in place a professional programme that will improve our chances of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup,” said Jones.

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