Rugby World Cup-bound Namibia to test Kenya ahead of repechage

Kenya Sevens star Willy Ambaka has been retained in the Simbas squad having been called up to feature in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. EPA/Tony Avelar

Kenya have secured an international friendly match against 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup champions Namibia.

The Kenya Simbas will use the match, to be played in October, to prepare for the Rugby World Cup repechage in France from November 14-23. The repechage competition will feature Hong Kong, German and Canada alongside Kenya, with the winners to claim the final ticket to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"We are glad that Namibia, who have already qualified for the World Cup, have accepted to play against our team next month," Kenya Rugby Union president Richard Omwela told KweseESPN.

"We are yet to fix the date.

"We are also trying to see if we can have a game against Portugal in November before we travel to France."

Namibia defeated Kenya 53-28 last month in a winner-takes-all fixture to claim the Rugby Africa Gold Cup title plus Rugby World Cup qualification; the result meanwhile sent the Simbas to the repechage.

Kenya's head coach. Ian Snook believes his team failed to qualify directly for the World Cup "because of lack of trial games", hence he is happy to play fixtures ahead of the repechage.

"Playing two high-profile international friendly matches before the repechage comes at the right time because it will help my players prepare better," Snook said.

Kenya defeated all the other teams in the Gold Cup tournament that doubled as a World Cup qualifier -- Uganda, Morocco, Tunisia and Zimbabwe -- before they lost the last game to Namibia.

The winners of the repechage will join New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Rugby World Cup Group B in Japan.

Kenya squad: Patrick Ouko, Moses Amusala, Thomas Okidia, Ephraim Oduor, Joseph Odero, Hillary Mwanjilwa, Colman Were, Peter Karia, Philip Ikambili, Wilson Kopondo, Andrew Chogo, Oliver Mang'eni, Malcolm Onsando, George Nyambua, Dalmus Chituyi, Elkeans Musonye, Davis Chenge, Martin Owilah, Samson Onsomu, Mohamed Omollo, Xavier Kipng'etich, Darwin Mukidza, Elvis Namusasi, Leo Seje, Maxwell Kang'eri, Peter Kilonzo, Zedden Marrow, Felix Ayange, Tony Onyango, Vincent Mose, Jacob Ojee, William Ambaka, Biko Adema.