Felix Okoth
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When Felix Okoth last played for his boyhood rugby club Nakuru RFC in the 2023 Prinsloo 7s, he was the team’s talisman. A captain who could be counted on to marshal his troops to war. A loose forward who is as dominating in the air as he is on the ground. The 6-foot gigantic figure can feature both in the forwards, and the backs as a center or a winger. 

Okoth was at the peak of his game when injury hit in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Prinsloo 7s against Kabras Sugar RFC. A hairline fracture to his tibia kept him away from the sport he loved for close to four months. As he underwent vigorous training and recovery programs, one thing kept ringing in his mind. 

“My love for the game kept me going. This was my first major injury, and I was very determined to come back from it,” says Okoth.

Long-awaited comeback

Okoth made his long-awaited comeback on match-day 1 of the 2023/24 Kenya Cup season. The joy would however be short-lived for him and the club as he would only play five games before the injury re-occurred again.

“The fifth game of the season against Kabras was the end of my Kenya Cup season. The injury recurred and I had to be sidelined again. This was very painful given how hard I had worked to come back,” says Okoth.

He would however work hard with the club’s physios and strength and conditioning coach, making a comeback during the 2024 Great Rift 10 Aside tournament. His side did not make it to the semis, but playing all the games was already a win for him.

Menengai Cream Cheetahs call up 

Okoth is a huge guy. Huge and versatile. He also packs a considerable amount of nitro too for when his speed is preferred to his already impressive skills in the break downs and line outs.  It is therefore no surprise that when the Menengai Cream Cheetahs’ technical bench was assembling their troops, Okoth was among those called up. 

Speaking of his time on the sidelines, Okoth gives credit to the Nakuru RFC and Menengai Cream Cheetahs Strength and Conditioning coach Donald Aluoch for his support. 

“One of the most important things you have to do when you are coming back from an injury is to make sure you get the conditioning right. After rehabilitation, conditioning comes next, and I thank the team’s strength and conditioning coach for his help in ensuring that I come back strong.”

Okoth is a very dependable player for both his club and the Menengai Cream Cheetahs franchise in the ongoing Rugby Super Series. Last weekend, he formed a lethal back row partnership with his clubmate and current Nakuru RFC captain Amos Obae and Samuel Were. 

Man of the Match Performance against Kabras Sugar Buffaloes 

His performances against the Kabras Sugar Buffaloes earned him the player of the match gong and a slot in our team of the round. Throughout the game, Okoth managed 7 carries, 6 tackles and 1 try. 

According to him, the team was seriously put to test by the young buffaloes’ side and the team’s character came through for them. “The team’s character came through for us on Saturday. You also look at the caliber of players we have in the Menengai Cream Cheetahs’ camp. We celebrated the little wins we got throughout the game, and it came through for us,” says Okoth. 

Saturday’s weather conditions did not allow for the full facets of the game to be played. The scrums for instance were uncontested. This is an area Okoth, and the Menengai Cream Cheetahs were well prepared for, but they did not get to use it as a weapon. How did it affect their game plan? 

“We definitely had to adjust. The pitch did not allow for contested scrums, and we had to adjust. That is what rugby is all about. It reduced our potency to a certain degree but then we had to find something else that would work for us. We kicked, we chased well, and our defense pattern was super,” concludes Okoth. 

Rugby Super Series in Nakuru

This weekend, the Rugby Super Series is coming to Okoth’s own backyard, the Nakuru Athletic Club (NAC). Okoth’s club, Nakuru RFC plays their home matches at the NAC grounds, and this could be a huge advantage to the Menengai Cream Cheetahs.

However, they will be facing another high-flying side in the form of the KCB Bank Lions. The KCB Bank Lions flew off the blocks last weekend against the Faiba Mobile Rhinos, winning 29-7 to sit top of the four-team Rugby Super Series table. 


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