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Kenya team beef up

Lionesses ring changes ahead of Elgon Cup return leg in Uganda

In Summary

•Head coach Felix Oloo makes sevens changes to team to face Uganda 

• Lionesses won first leg 44-13 in Kisumu

Kenya’s Doreen Remour and Irene Awino Otieno challenge Huriana Manuel of New Zealand during the 2016 Rio Olympics - Rugby - Preliminary - Women’s Pool B / COURTESY
Kenya’s Doreen Remour and Irene Awino Otieno challenge Huriana Manuel of New Zealand during the 2016 Rio Olympics - Rugby - Preliminary - Women’s Pool B / COURTESY

Kenya Lionesses head coach Felix Oloo has made seven changes to the side ahead of the return leg of the Elgon Cup tie against Uganda in Kampala this weekend.

Millicent Opala will make her first appearance for the Lionesses on Saturday since 2015 when the Elgon Cup ladies match was last played at the RFUEA grounds.

Winfred Maina, Winnie Owino, Anne Njeri, Victoria Gichure and Diana Awino will be making their debut for the Lionesses in Kampala. Immaculate Owiro, who started off the bench in the first leg, makes starting 15 during the return leg.

Oloo said the team is balanced and competitive. “We are very confident the final squad of 23 players will do a good job this weekend. The changes in the squad are designed to build the team's cohesion and allow them to gel. We want to see how the different options we have can perform as well as absorb the pressure as we build a formidable squad for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in August,” added Oloo. 

Kenya won the first leg 44-13 and Oloo said they will be going for a win and not defending the 31-point advantage. "The mindset of the team is to attack and score as many tries as possible.  I believe the girls can play better and we will be seeking an improvement in the second leg,” he noted.

Oloo is using the game to prepare for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in South Africa next month. "It's a good opportunity to test ourselves before we go for the qualifiers. We want to get a game or two under our belts so as to be fine-tuned for the qualifiers,” added Oloo.

If the team qualifies for the World Cup next year in New Zealand, World Rugby will organise a high-performance training camp. Plans are underway to have the team attend a training camp in South Africa depending on the availability of funds. Lionesses will face Madagascar, South Africa and Uganda.