Fiji-born Kubu set for debut as Simbas launch World Cup quest
Fijian-born and Kabras Sugar utility John Kubu is set to debut for the Kenya rugby fifteen’s team also known as Simbas this afternoon at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Head coach Paul Odera has repaid the Fijian’s consistency and exemplary performance in the local rugby league Kenya Cup by naming the Fijian in his final squad after becoming a darling to the fans who love watching his ability to outclass his opponents.
The Simbas are set to kick off their quest for a World Cup qualification berth in France come 2022 when they tackle Senegal at the Nyayo National Stadium this afternoon.
This will be Kenya Simbas first test match since their impressive 36-14 win over Zimbabwe in Nakuru back in September 2019.
The fixture between Simbas and Senegal will be curtain-raised by the clash between Kenya Lionesses and Madagascar at 11am before the Under-20 team also known as Chipu takes to the pitch at 1:30pm in a Barthes Trophy tie also featuring Senegal and Madagascar.
Simbas will be seeking to qualify for the World Cup in France; however, they will have to go past Senegal in a Pool B fixture before facing Zambia at the same venue on July 11.
The top two teams in the pool will qualify for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup as Simbas seek to qualify for the game’s showpiece event for the first time in their history.
Heading to the Senegal fixture Odera will be banking on the experience of Kubu to slice through the Senegalese defence at fly half with his fast feet and attention to detail for the game imminent.
Kubu has arguably one of the fastest feet in rugby sevens with the Fijian ability to side-step opponents in a phone booth while donning the famed Kabras Sugar jersey.
Nevertheless, Odera will also bank on the experienced Impala Saracens halfback Samson Onsomu to work hand in hand with Kubu at the heart of the midfield of the Simbas as they seek to kick off their quest for a World Cup ticket on a high note.
KCB trio of Darwin Mukidza, Davis Chenge and Joshua Chisanga are also notable inclusions in the Paul Odera coached side.
Odera’s match day squad has six debutants included with Kabras trio Jone Kubu, Brian Tanga and Bryceson Agesa, Nakuru’s Thomas Okeyo, Kenya Harlequins Bonface Ochieng and South Africa based Andrew Siminyu – all in line for a Simbas debut.
Odera will however miss the services of some of his key players due to injury with KCB duo Peter Kilonzo (concussion), Michael Kimwele (knee Injury), Mwamba RFC Tony Owuor (concussion), Geoffrey Okwach (broken foot), Ian Masheti (hamstring) and Wallace Otieno (knee Injury).
The inclusion of foreign-based players, Dominic Coulson and Andrew Siminyu, who were brought in to beef up the Simbas camp will be a positive inclusion to the team.
The partnership of Coulson and Siminyu who are based in England and South Africa respectively was unblemished during the remarkable 21-18 win against Namibia in the 2019 U-20 Barthes Trophy final.
The Simbas will be seeking to replicate their heroics when they beat Senegal 45-25 at the RFUEA Grounds Nairobi during the 2017 Africa Gold Cup. Today’s fixture kicks off at 4:00 pm EAT
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