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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya’s rugby 15s team prepare for World Cup qualifiers   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- New Kenya 15s rugby coach Ian Snook says their international friendly fixture against Uganda on May 26 will aid in his selection of the team that will take on Morocco for the 2019 World Cup Africa qualifiers in June.

Kenya is among the six teams that eye to join South Africa in the finals of the World Cup in 2019 in Japan.

Others are Morocco, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Uganda. The first qualifier matches start on June 23 with Kenya travelling to Morocco.

The coach however, expressed his reservation with the his team’s strength and conditioning aspect but said before the team travels to Uganda in two weeks’ time, they will have improved.

“I have the task to select my best 35 players. I have just started my sessions with them after my appointment and what I have noted is they lack stamina. That means we need to do more on strength and conditioning to be able to last the full stretch,” Snook said on Monday in Nairobi.

In general the New Zealander said the players have showed him the desire to learn and improve, which he wants to build on.

“I was disappointed with some unfit players in their playing for their clubs and my first training,” he said.

“But I remain confident they will hit the top mark I will set for them in fitness ahead of their qualifier match against Morocco on June 23, in Casablanca.”

Snook said Kenya’s potential is evident but needs close guidance and embracing of professionalism with passion to learn the game.

“Players I have seen have the movement and patterns required for the game, though they need to improve on their speed,” he added.

The New Zealand coach has brought along fellow countryman Murray Roulston as his assistant.

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