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Shock as broke Kenya Simbas pull out of Currie Cup matches



Shock as broke Kenya Simbas pull out of Currie Cup matches

Kenya Simbas will not honour their remaining matches in the Currie Cup First Division also know as Mzanzi Challenge due to financial constraints.

The Simbas were to play Valke on Saturday at Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa before wrapping up against South Western Districts (SWD) on June 3 at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi.

Kenya Simbas registered their second win in the championship on Saturday when they hammered Zimbabwe Goshawks 48-7 at the Athletic Club, Nakuru.

They had beaten Border Bulldogs 30-26 on May 6 in Cape Town before coming close to upsetting Namibia Welwitschias only to lose 35-28 in Windhoek on May 13.

The Simbas are placed seventh in the 10-team Mzanzi Challenge with 12 points drawn from two wins and five loses.

“We won’t honour the matches since we haven’t received the money were we waiting from broadcast rights,” said Kenya Rugby Union chairman Sasha Mutai.

In a separate communication, team manager Jimmy Mnene told the players not to despair.

“It is with a heavy heart and deep disappointment, that I have to let you know that our Currie Cup journey in 2023 has prematurely ended due financial constraints among other things beyond our control as a squad,” Mnene told the players.

Mnene urged the players not to be discouraged but focus on what they can control.

Mnene commended the players for their commitment to participate in the competition despite unpaid allowances for a month and in a foreign territory.

“I will keep chasing for the outstanding allowances and will keep you updated as I also follow up on your welfare through this period,” said Mnene.

Mnene reminded the players that the target to qualify for the 2027 World Cup still remains their top priority.

“Keep your heads high and thank you for the continued sacrifices from you and your families. Let this experience make us stronger and as usual be honest about how it makes you feel as this is what has enabled us to become better as a team,” said Mnene.

He praised the players for “an incredible run” in the Currie Cup with a great win against Zimbabwe at home.

“The most memorable outing is when we almost beat Namibia in Windhoek,” said Mnene noting that in the matches they lost, the largest point difference was 11 against San Clemente Rhinos (33-22).

“Congratulations on this great achievement and it clearly shows with the right structures, financial support, better pedigree and moral support, you can conquer superior teams.”

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