Odera: We must defend the Elgon Cup
The Kenya Simba head coach, Paul Odera, has no regrets dropping senior players from his squad ahead of Saturday’s Elgon Cup against Uganda in Kisumu.
Odera has mixed youth and experience on his current squad as he starts a journey to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Chipu players were selected by Odera who believes that the “young players can something, days before World Junior Rugby Trophy and this will be a great experience to the lads”
“These are players playing for the first time and giving the boys a chance to play rugby at a high level and we hope that they will get the best experience playing the Elgon Cup,” said Odera.
He has however claimed picking Kenya U-20 players in his provisional squad is a sign of early preparations for the Rugby World Cup.
“We want players who have never played for Simba to be able to start early and this will help us yield quality players so that they can be prepared for the 2023 global showpiece in France. We don’t want to wait for the competitions to start to put them in play,” he told Citizen Digital.
The Simbas will be leaving for Kisumu on Thursday with Odera set to name the traveling party on Thursday afternoon. He will pick 23 who will start on Saturday as he remains confident that the young players will be able to perform.
His concerns are now not on the players but the Cranes and he wants to focus on defending the title for he admits Uganda has always been giving them a headache in every of their meeting.
“Playing against Uganda is always a hard task I cannot lie. It’s always a hard fight, we want to retain the Elgon Cup with our players playing for the first time, and Kenyans always want us to win so we must win we have no option.”
The return leg will be on July 13 in Kampala.
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