Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook has made various changes in his final team to face Morocco in Kenya’s opening game of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup in Casablanca this Saturday.
Darwin Mukidza will move from fullback, where he played against the Rugby Cranes in the first leg of the Elgon Cup, to fly-half while Biko Adema joins the back three as full back.
Hooker Philip Ikambili will start at open-side flank while Samson Onsomu will pair with Mukidza as the halfbacks on the day. Mohamed Omolo will be the only halfback option on the bench.
Snook, who will be making his Gold Cup debut as Simbas coach, named the 23-man squad was named on Wednesday as the team plans to fly to Morocco for their first piece of action.
There is no overall captain Wilson Kopondo in the team as he continues to recover from a lower-back injury.
From the squad that beat Uganda two weeks ago, only props Patrick Ouka and Joseph Odero, locks Andrew Chogo and Oliver Mangeni plus the midfield pair of Leo Seje and Peter Kilonzo remain unchanged.
Having finished second behind Namibia last year, the Simbas will be looking to win this year’s Cup.
Morocco already showed that they won’t be a punching bag after holding Zimbabwe to a 23-all draw in Harare on day one of the competition.
The winner of the 2018 Africa Gold Cup will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan while the runner up will play a repechage competition for another shot at world cup qualification.
Kenya Simbas Line up
1.Patrick Ouko 2.Coleman Were 3.Joseph Odero 4.Oliver Mangeni 5.Andrew Chogo 6.George Nyambua 7.Philip Ikambili 8.Davies Chenge 9.Samson Onsomu 10.Darwin Mukidza 11.Edmund Anya 12.Leo Seje 13.Peter Kilonzo 14.Tony Onyango 15.Biko Adema
16.Peter Karia 17.Moses Amusala 18.Curtis Lilako 19.Malcolm Onsando 20..Eric Kerre 21.Moha Omollo 22.Max Kangeri 23 .Zedden Marrow