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Chipu trials attracts 180 players

Chipu, the national rugby 15-a-side under 20 trials attracted the highest number of rugby players exceeding the expectations surprising head coach Paul Odera.

Odera was using the trails to select a formidable team ahead of Barthes Cup in March in Nairobi as quality players will be selected.

Odera said, “The numbers were overwhelming; we had planned for 70 players but we got 180 which is a good problem to have because it shows that we’ve got a good group of young players in the country who want to play. What was even better was that the quality of rugby displayed by these players was of a very high standard. In previous years when we’ve been at this stage of preparation, we have normally been struggling to see how we can develop the skills of many of the players.”

Once the team has been narrowed down, Odera is looking to start his training with three conditioning sessions a week and one half-day camp on Sundays with the locally available players.

Chipu will play Tunisia on 27th of March while Namibia takes on Senegal on the same day.

Odera has experience with Tunisia seeing as the two sides met in 2016. “With the Tunisians, they have very heavy forwards and some dangerous players in the back-line but it is something that we are more than equipped to handle. We’ve got to do our homework, do our research then based on that develop training sessions so that we’re able to deal with these teams. If we do play Namibia again, I mean last year we pushed them hard; the score however does not reflect how close the game was. Hopefully this year, if we can get the players mentally, physically and skillfully ready, perhaps we can be able to finally get a positive result against them at this level.”

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