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Kenyans upbeat

Chipu open campaign against Uruguay today in Junior World Trophy

In Summary

•Kenya open campaign against Uruguay at Martin Pereira Stadium

•Chipu will also face off hosts Brazil and Japan during the pool matches

 

Kenya'sCollins Eyan battles Tunisia players during the U20 Barthes Cup at Ruaraka recently
Kenya'sCollins Eyan battles Tunisia players during the U20 Barthes Cup at Ruaraka recently
Image: Erick Barasa

Kenya Under-20 open their Junior Rugby World Cup campaign against Uruguay at the Estadio Martins Pereira in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Chipu are making a return to the tournament after a ten-year hiatus when they last hosted it.

'The two sides have never met at this level and Paul Odera's charges will be starting the match as underdogs based on South America's team experience and pedigree at the junior level.

 

Chipu qualified for the tournament after beating holders Namibia 21-18 at the KCB Sports Club during the Africa qualifiers in April.

Chipu arrived in Brazil on Thursday and have had three pieces of training sessions ahead of today's fixture in the sweltering humidity. Head coach Paul Odera will go for his tried and tested for today's match.

Skipper Boniface Ochieng leads from the front and will have Emmanuel Silungi at second row and Brian Amaitsa, Cameron Coulson and Ian Njenga in the forwards. In the backs, vice-captain Samuel Asati and Dominic Coulsson are the half-back pairing with Jeff Okwach, Jeff Mutuku, Michelle Brigehetti and Andrew Matoka the pick of the backs.

On their part, Uruguay will have captain Juan Garese, Prop Ezekiel Ramos, hooker Juan Martin Rippe and flanker Felipe Lombardo in the pack and fullback Jose Iruleguy the pick of the backs.

Odera though expects stern examinations form the Uruguayans, especially in the forwards. "They are very formidable outfit especially upfront and very strong in the set pieces. We must neutralise their strength if we are to beat them,” added Odera. 

He said they will be competitive up front and use their lively backs as well as their line speed in defence. For me, the game will be all about playing at pace as we try and tire their big forwards and our defensive alignment must be spot on if we are to win this game,” added Odera

The team played two build-up matches, beating a Prescott Cup Select 28-3 and played the senior Simbas' side. Odera said the side is ready for the challenge. "I know we are undercooked for this tournament in terms of preparation and playing build-up matches but the boys are relishing the challenge and want to do the country proud,” he noted.

 

Chipu's second match will be against the hosts Brazil on Sunday before winding up their preliminary matches against Japan next week Wednesday.