• Victoria Cup revived following in the cancellation of Africa Gold Cup.
• Kenya to face Uganda in opener on Kisumu on June 22.
Kenya Simbas will feature in a revamped Victoria Cup starting this weekend.
The Elgon Cup clash between Kenya and Uganda in Kisumu on Saturday will double up as Victoria Cup encounter. The return leg match will be played on July 13 in Kampala.
The Victoria Cup previously featured Kenya and Zimbabwe between 2002 and 2003 before being scrapped in 2004
This time around, it will feature Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and new participants Zambia. Kenya are set to host Zimbabwe on July 6 with the return leg on July 20 in Harare. Kenya’s last away match is against Zambia on July 27 with the return leg set for August 17.
Rugby World Cup-bound Namibia are not part of the competition. The competition is named after Lake Victoria in Kenya and Victoria Falls which were named in honour of the reigning Queen Victoria and her great grandmother.
The Victoria Cup replaces the Rugby Africa Gold Cup after it was cancelled following the withdrawal of main sponsor Kwese Sport
Head coach Paul Odera welcomed the additional fixtures for the new season and said it will sharpen the team and keep the Simbas competitive in a transitional year. "It's good to have four games for the team as it will grow our young team and enable them to face the best on the continent,” he added.
Odera is expected to name his 23-man squad for the match against Uganda later this week. The Simbas are currently ranked 32 in the world and will be aiming to improve their positions after tumbling last year from a high of position 24.
Elsewhere, the Kenya Under-20 side beat a Prescott Cup select 28-3 in a build-up match played at the RFUEA ground over the weekend.
Vice-captain Samuel Asati, Jeff Okwach, Samuel Were and Bildad Ogeta scored a try each for Chipu with flyhalf Dominic Coulson converting two tries and adding a penalty. Chipu led 7-3 at the interval. Coach Paul Odera said there is room for improvement in his team with the tournament three weeks away in Brazil.