The Kenya Under 20 national team, Chipu, held their second camp this year in Gilgil this past weekend, as they start their preparations for the Rugby Africa U20 Championships in March.
Head Coach Paul Odera,said, “We are in a better place as compared to 2016 because we have a bigger group of older players who have experience working with us. The plan is to get us to recognize the systems and for the players to see where they are in terms of conditioning.”
The biggest challenge for us at the moment is balancing commitments the players’ club and national team commitments. That’s what we are trying to do and make sure they stay in shape. It’s going to be quite hectic from December because there is the Kenya Cup going on, there are some players who are abroad, there are those players who are in school and then we also have other commitments. We are looking to see if we can get players in at least every two weeks in January and most of the weekends in February. That is the plan in terms of developing how we are going to play.”
With a healthy sprinkling of new call ups in the squad, Odera says, “some of the players who have come in are looking very good. It is good for us because when we have more competition, the quality of play developments and gets better.”
Chipu have been drawn against Zimbabwe in the semifinal set for 28 March 2018 in Windhoek, Namibia. The winner of this match will face the winner of the Namibia-Madagascar semifinal at the same venue with the U20 South zone title up for grabs. The U20 South zone winner will then face the U20 North zone for the overall African title, and with it qualification to the 2018 World Rugby Junior Trophy which is the second tier of global competition at the U20 level.
(Kenya’s fixtures highlighted in bold)
|MATCH DATE||COMPETITIONS||Host Team||Visitor Team||Venue|
|2018/03/28||U20 NORTH||Senegal||Morocco||Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia|
|2018/03/28||U20 NORTH||Tunisie||Cote d’Ivoire||Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia|
|2018/03/28||U20 SOUTH||Kenya||Zimbabwe||Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia|
|2018/03/28||U20 SOUTH||Madagascar||Namibia||Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia|
|2018/03/31||U20 NORTH||Loser Match 1||Loser Match 2||Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia|
|2018/03/31||U20 NORTH||Winner Match 1||Winner Match 2||Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia|
|2018/03/31||U20 SOUTH||Loser Match 1||Loser Match 2||Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia|
|2018/03/31||U20 SOUTH||Winner Match 1||Winner Match 2||Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia|