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February 16, 2019

KRU plan Test matches with Romania, Brazil and USA

Mike Okombe (7) during 15s action against Uganda . /ENOS TECHE
Mike Okombe (7) during 15s action against Uganda . /ENOS TECHE

Kenya Rugby Union have sent out invites to play Test matches against Romania, Brazil, USA and Germany next year.

If the countries confirm, Kenya could play seven Test matches next year as they seek qualification to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

KRU director of elite squads and performance, Oscar Mango, said they will be awaiting for response from the four unions by the end of the year to start planning for next year.

“We have sent out the invite to the four countries and we hope we can get favourable response from them. I hope our boys get competitive fixtures as we prepare for the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) 1A fixtures,” he said.

Kenya have played two friendlies this year, beating Brazil 18-17 at their own backyard and hammering Hong Kong twice in Nairobi 34-10 and 24-18 away.

Kenya also registered wins over Zimbabwe 61-15 in Harare and thrashed Uganda 45-24 in the CAR 1A Championship and went on to reclaim the Elgon Cup,” Mango said.

He said it has been relatively good year for the team but urged the players to strive and win the Africa Cup next and move into the top 20 of ranking.

“It’s been a good year for Kenya 15s as we managed to expose a few young players to top class rugby. We also achieved our highest ranking ever but for the 2017, it will be even tougher as we aim to move up the ranking to be in the top 20. Africa Cup which has eluded us for the past four year’s is our next target,” added Mango

Kenya are currently ranked 22 in the latest world rugby ranking. KRU are also awaiting a response from the South Africa Rugby Union to see if they will participate in the Currie cup next year.

Elsewhere, Kenya Harlequins have signed a five-year partnership deal with betting firm, SportPesa. The deal is believed to be in the range of Sh50 million for the first year with an expected escalation of a percentage said to be in the range of 20% in subsequent years for the first five-year term.

The deal will be wholesome, covering kitting, player welfare—from the Academy, women rugby to the senior side where 40 players will be contracted, transport, where a bus will be provided and administration. Through the partnership, the club has also adopted nationwide sides Kitale RFC and Dagoretti Bulldogs as its development teams.

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