RUGBY

Relief for Simbas as KRU announces new sponsorship

Kenya 15s are set to take part in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers in France

[FILE] Kenya Simbas play against the Uganda Cranes during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup, a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

The Kenya men’s 15s national team, The Simbas, have received a major boost to the tune of Sh10 million ahead of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers set for July 1st to July 12th, 2022 in France.

The Sh10 million sponsorship announced on Tuesday, June 28 came from Teita Sisal Estate through its lodge, The Hildana Lodge.

The announcement was made by Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Oduor Gangla who reiterated the funds will go a long way in assisting with the team's preparation.

“The Kenya Rugby Union appreciates this timely partnership that will certainly be a boost to the Simbas who have been in intense preparations over the past two years for this assignment. These funds will be used to ensure the team prepares and performs well in France," said Gangla in part.

Jimmy Mnene, the Teita Sisal Representative added to what Gangla said the company had been at the forefront in supporting not only the senior men's side but also the junior side commonly referred to as Chipu.

“The company has been a strong supporter of both Kenya Simbas (senior XVs men) and Chipu since 2019. In the words of Philip Kiryazi, MD Teita Sisal Estate, our wish as a company is to promote and develop our great team to be at the forefront of International rugby,” said Mnene.

The sponsorship comes only days after KRU took to their social media accounts to announce that the team lacked enough funds to prepare and compete in the Rugby Africa Cup which also serves as the qualifiers. A move that worried many fans as to whether the team was ready for the showdown.

However, Head Coach Paul Odera during the press conference took the liberty to assure fans that the boys are ready to compete for a spot in next year's tournament.

The tenth edition of the World Cup will take place from September 8 to October 28 in France.

“This partnership couldn’t have come at a better time. We are fully focused on the task at hand, which is to secure Kenya’s first ever qualification to the fifteens Rugby World Cup. We go out there with hopes and dreams of the millions of Kenyans and we will make you proud. Thank you once again for this gesture,” reiterated Odera.

The boys are expected to leave the country on Wednesday, June 29 ahead of their first quarterfinal match against neighbours Uganda on Saturday, July 2.

Whoever will win the match will play their semifinal match on July 6 before the final on July 10. The winner of the tournament will earn a direct ticket to the World Cup.

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