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Simbas seek to change tactics: KRU seek to expose 15s side to competitive fixtures ahead of 2023 World Cup



Plans are underway to have the Simbas play in the Supersport rugby Challenge in 2020 in South Africa.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) director of squads, Ray Olendo yesterday said they have started negotiations with South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) to play in the event with a view of ensuring Simbas get competitive fixtures in the run up to the 2023 World Cup in France.

“If we are seriously thinking of qualification to the World Cup, we need competitive fixtures against top sides. You saw at the repechage where we were under cooked and paid the price by losing all the matches,” added Olendo.

The SuperSport Challenge was formerly known as the Vodacom Cup and Simbas took part in 2014—winning one match and losing six. This laid a platform for the Simbas, who almost qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom.

Olendo said the budget for the SuperSport Challenge will cost Sh35 million and they hope they can tie down a sponsor to meet the financial obligations for the tournament in the new year.

“The union must work hard on this in order to tie down a sponsor next year. We need to cater for accommodation, air tickets and miscellaneous expenses for the team while there,” added Olendo. The teams are pooled into three sections including Northern, Central and Southern.

The Simbas will most likely be pooled in the Southern section, where they will meet Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Eastern Elephants, SWD Eagles and Western Province.

Olendo said next year’s Africa Gold Cup will be played at central venue unlike this year’s event which was played on round-robin format. He said the union was keen on getting the side play international fixtures to complement the Gold Cup matches. “We are talking to World rugby to see if we can get international games next year but confirmations will be done in the new year,” added Olendo.

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