Kenya Simbas to make its debut in South Africa's Currie Cup-Xinhua

Kenya Simbas to make its debut in South Africa's Currie Cup

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-05-04 22:18:30

NAIROBI, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The oldest rugby competition in the continent - South Africa's Currie Cup - will be played in Kenya for the first time in June when two of its franchises travel to Nairobi to take on the country's national 15s team.

The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) said on Tuesday that Kenya Simbas, as the 15s side is known, will feature in the second division of the 2022 Currie Cup as one of the three invitational sides in the 10-team tournament.

KRU also confirmed the Leopards will play the national side on June 4 before they face the Eastern Province Elephants a week later at Nairobi's Rugby Football Union of East Africa grounds.

"It has been a phenomenal experience for our team to play against fully professional sides in the Currie Cup. All this is part of our build up for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers happening in July this year," KRU chairman Oduor Gangla told reporters in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The local governing body boss added they requested their counterparts, South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) to host some of their matches in Nairobi with Leopards Rugby Union and Eastern Rugby Union agreeing to come to Kenya after further talks.

Kenya Simbas head coach, Paul Odera, believes playing against this calibre of opposition from the country that is the reigning Rugby World Cup holders will put his team in a better footing to qualify for next year's showpiece.

"This Currie Cup campaign is a big part of fulfilling our vision to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

"Other nations like Argentina have fielded franchise teams in South African domestic competitions and they are now one of the most highly rated test nations in the world," the retired international stated.