Kenya Simbas recall Injera, Onyala for Rugby Africa Cup final against Namibia
Kenya Simbas Head Coach Paul Odera has made two changes to his starting squad that will face Namibia in the Rugby Africa Cup final match scheduled for Sunday 10 July at 10:00 PM East African Time.
Collins Injera is fit again after healing from an abductor strain and he is available for the match same as Onyala who had a pain-free ankle injury.
Their presence has seen the coach drop Derrick Ashihundu out of the 23-man squad while Bryceson Adaka drops to the bench.
Injera who was part of the 2014 squad that last won against Namibia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifiers joins the back three which has Jacob Ojee and Darwin Mukidza.
Onyala on his part will start in the midfield as the outside centre with Saturday's brace hero John Okoth set to start as the inside centre. Okoth also scored in the 36-33 win over Algeria and he is the Simbas leading try scorer with three tries.
Samuel Asati at scrum-half and fly-half Dominic Coulson will start together for the seventh time in a row. Bethuel Anami stays at number eight with Dan Sikuta and George Nyambua retaining their places in the unchanged back row.
Odera has also retained his tight five for the third time in a row with Patrick Ouko, Eugene Sifuna, Ephraim Oduor starting upfront and Malcolm Onsando Thomas Okeyo starting as second rowers.
The coach feels the squad has had enough recuperation and is ready to face Namibia in the decisive final. The coach has praised the medical staff for ensuring the players are ready for action.
“Credit to the medical team, Steve Mankone and Dr James Ondiege who have done a fantastic job with the players. It has been a case of less is more yesterday we had an SnC session in the gym and then we had the captain’s run this morning,” he stated.
Kenya has not beaten Namibia since 2014 and suffered their fifth successive defeat to the Welwitschias in South Africa last November, losing 60-24.
A win will see the Kenya simbas join hosts France, New Zealand, Italy, and Uruguay in Pool A at the RWC 2023.
Meanwhile, a loss will see them participate in the Final Qualification Tournament in November.
Vice-Captain Malcolm Onsando said that "during our captain's run this morning, we ran through our line outs." "We had a wonderful session, and we can see that everyone is completely focused and ready for the final," he remarked.
Kenya Simbas line up
1. Patrick Ouko 2. Eugene Sifuna 3. Ephraim Oduor 4. Malcolm Onsando 5. Thomas Okeyo 6. George Nyambua 7. Daniel Sikuta 8. Bethuel Anami 9. Samuel Asati 10. Dominic Coulson 11. Collins Injera 12. John Okoth 13. Vincent Onyala 14. Jacob Ojee 15. Darwin Mukidza.
16. Teddy Akala 17. Edward Mwaura 18. Joseph Odero 19. Davis Chenge 20. Martin Owilah 21. Brian Tanga 22. Jone Kubu 23. Bryceson Adaka.