Chipu start Barthes Cup campaign with hope of title
The national under-20 rugby team start their Barthes Cup campaign on Thursday afternoon when they take on Tunisia in the semi finals at the KCB Sports Club. With the tournament being staged in Kenya, head coach Paul Odera hopes the boys can finally make the dream of winning the crown come true.
“Playing at home is a big advantage especially psychologically. Can we qualify fir the World Junior Trophy? Yes we can. At home I have seen Kenyan teams raise their level and I believe we can replicate this,” Odera said.
But first even before the team can focus on the title, they have to go past the Tunisians who Odera says will be a tough team. “They have improved over time and I know it will not be a walk in the park. We have to get our strategies right and execute well,” Odera opined.
The coach has named four-foreign based players in his squad and he expects them to play a crucial role in the campaign, but is also pleased that a huge chunk of his team have been active either in the Kenya Cup of the Eric Shirley Shield .
“I am very excited about this group of players because I have coached some of them since they were six. We also have quite a number who have been through the system from Under-13 and risen through the levels and it’s a good mix of players,” the coach noted.
The Kenya v Tunisia match will be played at 3:30pm and will be preceded by the tie pitting Namibia and Senegal. Winners of the two ties face off in Sunday’s final at the Lion’s Den.
Chipu Squad on Barthes Cup Duty:
Bonface Ochieng- Captain (Kenya Harlequins), Ian Njenga(Nondies), Rotuk Rahedi(Millfield College), Emmanuel Silungi(Homeboyz), Hibrahim Ayoo(Menengai Oilers), James Mcgreevy(Kenya Harlequins), Brian Amaitsa (Nondies), Darren Kahi(Blakblad), Samuel Asati – VC(KCB), Dominic Coulson(Unattached) Beldad Ogeta(Menengai Oilers), Owain Ashley(Merchiston Castle), George Maranga(KCB), Geoffrey Okwach(KCB), Jeff Mutuku(Kenya Harlequins), Wilfred Waswa(Northern Suburbs), Collins Obure(Blakblad), Ian Masheti(Impala Saracens), Frank Aduda(Impala Saracens), George Kiryazi(Merchiston Castle), Samuel Were(LaiserHill Academy), Barry Young (Kabras Sugar), Douglas Kahuri (Kenya Harlequins), Michele Brighetti( Sedburgh School), Andrew Matoka(Strathmore University).