Kenya rugby 15s side, Simba’s head coach Ian Snook has recalled Homeboyz backrow player Dalmus Chituyi, KCB prop Curtis Lilako and Kabras Sugar winger Felix Ayange for the ultimate Rugby World Cup (RWC) Japan 2019 qualifier, against Namibia in Windhoek.
Chituyi, Simbas’ talisman during the team’s 45-36 home win against Zimbabwe at the RFUEA grounds on June 30, replaces last weekend’s man of the match, Martin Owila, while experienced Lilako has been brought in place of Hillary Mwanjilwa with former sevens speed star Felix Ayange replacing centre Maxwell Kangeri.
Commenting on his squad, Snook expressed his satisfaction with the finishers he named for the crucial match which apart from also being a Rugby Africa Gold Cup six team tournament tie, is also just 80 minutes away from earning Simbas a maiden appearance in the 15s version of the Rugby World Cup.
“Dalmus is in as we have a 6/2 bench in this game. It has been crucial in a couple of other games with fresh forwards coming on late in the game and making a telling difference. We hope these changes will make the same difference this time as well,” said Snook.
Commenting on his back line approach, having Ayange starting from the bench, Snook pointed out the player’s resourceful play, with the ability to assume many roles as a key ingredient as a come-in-handy finisher.
“Felix is on the bench as he can comfortably fit in many positions and is competent wherever asked to play. He is a tough competitor and we know he will be up for the physical battle. Biko who usually fills this role is carrying an injury. Curtis is back in so we can utilise his experience and cool head late in the game,” said Snook.
Simbas will be looking at fixing the relapse errors which saw Namibia gain from a 7-0 half-time lead to a 45-7 win last season.
Namibia had a week rest earlier, a slight advantage for the Welwitchias who will also enjoy home advantage.