2018 is slowly becoming a semi-renaissance year for the rugby game in Kenya. This weekend the Kenya 15s team better known as the Simbas face off with their Ugandan counterparts for the famous Elgon Cup. The trophy aptly named after the mountain peak found on the border of the two nations – Kenya and Uganda has been a mainstay for the healthy rivalry between the neighbors.
Having skipped the 2017 one due to the Kenyan elections, both sides are preparing to have a go at each other.
It doesn’t get any better this time with the team coming good after recording victory in the first half of the two-game clash. Both teams have also called on some of their 7s players to provide some pace and experience to the 15-a-side team to gain whatever extra edge they can. These include former 7s players Felix Ayange and Biko Adema with the former being handed his first test cap. Uganda welcomes their talisman Philip Wokorach who plays in the shorter version of the game but proved to be as valuable in the 2016 Elgon Cup, first leg in Kampala’s Kyadondo Grounds.
Triumphs over Morocco and Zimbabwe also curries the flavor to the return leg in Nairobi. What’s more the game will be used as preparations for the Africa Gold Cup where second-tier teams including Namibia, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Pride and bragging rights are of course at stake given the storied past of the two countries – from politicos like the Migingo Island controversy to concerns over which team’s closest to qualifying for the prestigious Rugby World Cup in 2019. Pay and management issues aside, let’s look forward to an entertaining game at the RFUEA Grounds on 7th July from 1500hours.
For those not able to make it, the game will be screened live on Kwese Sports TV – as well as it’s Facebook and YouTube channels.