There will be new players who will debut for Kenya’s 15s rugby team that was named on Friday by technical bench led by head coach Jerome Paarwater.
Paarwater named 36-man squad for this year’s international assignments in 2017 with the Simbas will kick off their 2017 campaign with a home test against Germany at the RFUEA grounds.
The new comers include 13 players include Oscar Simiyu, George Asin and Peter Kilonzo of Kenya Cup winners Kenya Commercial Bank, Homeboyz’s trio of Steve Otieno, Philip Ikambili and Bramwell Mayaka while Kabras Sugar are represented by back George Nyambua.
Other include Leo Seje, James Kubasu, Elkeans Musonye, Alex Olaba, Brad Owako, as well as Nondies back Benjamin Marshall, who was part of the Kenya’s under-20 squad that finished second at last week’s Africa Under-20 Championships in Madagascar.
Sevens rugby utility back Biko Adema, who has not played for the Simbas since 2010 and last featured for Kenya Sevens at the Rio Olympic Games in August, has also made the team.
There are also late call ups for Oliver Mang’eni and Jacob Ojee who inspired KCB to last weekend’s success Kenya Cup success against Kabras Sugar.
Also in the team are in Kenny Andola and Ronnie Mwenesi, while injury forces Humphrey Kayange out of the squad. Nato Simiyu, Nick Barasa, Antony Orege, McLanhan Sikuku, Roxy Suchi and Edwin Achayo do not make the final squad.
“While qualification for 2019 World Cup remains a key priority for us, we are looking beyond that by blooding in younger players, including those from the Under-20s,” said team manager Wangila Simiyu, who also indicated that Wilson K’opondo is very likely to return to the captaincy.
After the Germany tie, Simbas have another six fixtures lined up.
They play the Elgon Cup first leg away to Uganda on June 10 with the return leg a fortnight later doubling up as the opening round of the Africa Cup Division One “A”.
This year’s Africa Cup has been expanded and will feature six teams with Senegal and Tunisia having been incorporated into the competition that has Kenya, defending champions Namibia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Forwards: Moses Amusala (KCB), George Asin (KCB), Dennis Karani (Resolution Impala Saracens), Wilson Kopondo (SportPesa Quins), Simon Muniafu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Davis Chenge (KCB), Eric Kerre (Resolution Impala Saracens), Edwin Machanje (Mwamba), James Kubasu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Peter Karia (KCB), Bramwell Mayaka (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Philip Ikambili (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Oscar Simiyu (KCB),George Nyambua(Kabras Sugar),Ronnie Mwenesi (Nondescripts), Emmanuel Mavala (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Oliver Mang’eni (KCB), Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore Leos), Martin Owila (KCB), Steve Otieno (Menengai Cream Homeboyz);
Backs: Samson Onsomu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Biko Adema (Nondescripts), Dennis Muhanji (SportPesa Quins), Patrice Agunda (SportPesa Quins), Leo Seje (Resolution Impala Saracens), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Tony Onyango (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Kelvin Masai (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Isaac Adimo (SportPesa Quins), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Brad Owako (Mwamba), David Ambunya (SportPesa Quins), Alex Olaba (Strathmore Leos),Kenny Andola (KCB), Benjamin Marshall (Nondescripts), Peter Kilonzo (KCB).