K’Opondo backs Simbas to see out Zimbabwe job
The Kenya Simbas captain Wilson K’Opondo is expected to be out of the Gold Cup qualifiers for a longer while after hinting he is yet to recover from a long-term injury.
The burly flanker is however optimistic that the current squad under coach Ian Snook and and his New Zealand compatriot Murray Roulstaon will perform well in the World Cup qualifiers.
In an interview with Citizen Digital, the Kenya Harlequins ace commented on the injury he has struggled to shake off as well reiterated his support for his teammates ahead of their Zimbabwe adventure.
“I sustained injuries in different parts of my body which have taken time to heal but the therapy and healing process has been positive and optimistically I will be back on the playing field sooner than it’s expected,” the soft spoken skipper said.
K’Opondo also congratulated his teammates and the Kenya Simba technical bench for the support they have given to the boys in their preparations ahead of their tiresome 2019 rugby World Cup qualifiers.
“I’m very happy with their performance; they showed a lot of resilience, discipline and character in the match, and that’s the kind of optimism we want marching forward, and hopefully the team shall maintain that consistency,” K’Opondo added.
His sentiments come days after Simbas got their first ever win in the Moroccan capital, outshining the hosts 28-24 last weekend’s Gold Cup opener and K’Opondo believes the team has what it takes to qualify.
“Hard work, consistency, discipline and belief in our systems is what we must uphold in this qualifiers and if adhered to then we can qualify for the 2019 rugby world cup in Japan,” K’Opondo added.
However despite K’opndo being replaced by KCB back rower Davis Chenge at the helm of the Captaincy, he believes his successor will captain the side to the desired set goals.
“Chenge is a capable Captain he has what it takes to lead the team to greater heights and all he needs now is the support of every loyal Kenyan rugby fan out there to deliver,” he added.
Head Coach Ian Snook however will have to look for a perfect replacement that will fill the void of Impala Saracens centre Leo Seje and Flanker Philip Ikambili who got injured during the Casablanca tie.
Martin Owilla,Isaac Adimo and Malcolm Onsando are some of the likely replacements for the Kenya simba side ahead of their tantalisng tie in Nairobi.
Their historic win over Morocco was Simba’s opening game in the Gold Cup that also doubles as 2019 World cup qualifiers.
Simba’s next opponents are Zimbabwe (Sables) who are expected to jet in the country today ahead of the weekend showdown at the RFUEA grounds.
The Sables kicked off their chase for the Gold Cup with a rather disappointing 23-23 all draw with Morocco in Harare and a win against Kenya will be a huge advantage for them.
During their last visit, Sables hit Kenya 26-21 at Nyayo Stadium on 23 July of 2011 but the Simbas composed themselves to record two straight defeats to the Simbas in the last two years in Harare.
On July 15 2016 Kenya thrashed Zimbabwe 61-15 in Harare before a 41-22 win a year later in the same city.
Defending Champions Namibia leads the six-team log with ten points with Kenya coming in second with five.
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