The Simbas have made six changes to the squad ahead of Sunday’s clash against Hong Kong at the RFUEA ground.
Impala Prop James Kubasu starts alongside Phillip Ikambili of Homeboyz with team-mate Emmanuel Mavala starting at second row alongside the returning Oliver Mangeni.
In the backs, Strathmore Leos Alex Olaba starts on the wing with Mwamba’s Brad Owako at inside centre. Nondies’ Ben Marshall has been named on the bench.
The evergreen Vincent Mose, who plies his trade with Hima Heathens in Uganda, starts at fullback and will provide experience to the youthful team. Kabras’ George Nyambua will skipper the side.
Announcing the squad yesterday, assistant coach Dominique Habimana, said the changes were meant to crate depth in the side in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers next year.
“Most of these players have been in the wider training squad for the better part of the year and we want to give them chance against top quality side in Hong Kong,” added Habimana.
Habimana said the areas of improvement in the team include support play, defensive alignment and composure when attacking the opposition.
“From the Namibia game, we had problems in attack and our set piece didn’t function the way we could have wanted. We failed to score when the opportunities arose so for the last couple of days, we have been working on that with the squad,” added Habimana.
He said they will play high tempo game to tire their opponents. “We would like to get points on the board quickly and play an expansive game,” added Habimana.
He was, however, expecting a fierce fight from the Asian outfit who lost both games to the Simbas last year—24-18 and 34-10.
“They are ranked higher than us and they are disappointed that they lost last year. We must be at our best and execute well in both attack and defence if we have to prevail,” he added
Kenya finished second in the just concluded Africa Gold Cup series with 16 points after mixed campaign—registering wins over Tunisia 100-10, Senegal 45-25 and Zimbabwe 41-22. They drew with Uganda 33-33 and lost to Namibia 45-7 . Kenya also lost friendly match to Germany 30-29 in May.
Team manager Wangila Simiyu urged fans to turn up in large numbers for the encounter. “We need to support the boys and show our unity and pride for this team,” added Simiyu
Kilimani OCPD Joseph Muthee assured fans and sponsors of security for both encounters. “ I want to assure our fans and sponsors of security for the match on Sunday,” added Muthee.