This article was written by Peter Wamoto of Wazalendo Rugby
Unsung heroes, don’t come any better than in the form of Tony ‘Polisi’ Khadambi and Yuan Fahy.
Both have had interesting rugby journeys, to say the least, but at the peak of their careers, they met at Moi University where they quickly became a formidable combination.
Tony ‘Polisi’ Khadambi
Widely regarded as one of the hardest-hitting rugby players, started his rugby at Kakamega High School, bagging several national and East Africa championship trophies.
He played alongside some of the most talented players the sport has seen, the likes of Alvin Otieno ‘Buffalo’ and Bush Mwale.
After High School the three of them alongside Humphrey Mulama, Idris Fahmi Kafe and Mike Tink, all joined Homeboyz rugby.
While they all got offers to play for the Kenya Under 20 team, Tony Khadambi declined the offer, choosing to focus on his senior career.
He featured for Homeboyz RFC for a full season playing both 7s and 15s, while also being deployed at numerous positions as a utility player. Many keen fans will remember his famous try against Kenya Harlequins in the finals of Kabeberi 7s 2013. Individual brilliance saw Polisi run over 70 metres, before dragging three Harlequins defenders past the try line as he landed the winning try.
Then he was off to study at Moi University by the start of the next season.
The soft-spoken but tough outfielder can easily slot into any position, ranging from 11 to 15. Little is known about his High School days, but the Nairobi-raised Fahy started playing for the Technical University of Kenya ‘Mustangs’ while still in High School.
During school Holidays he would play for TUK in both the game of 7s and 15s, this enabled him to gain vast experience at a much younger age.
After Highschool, the quick and aggressive winger had a short stint at Nondescripts RFC before proceeding to Moi University for his studies.
Later on, in 2016, he had another short stint at Nondescripts, playing a full season for the Red Lions of Jamhuri park. Yuan has also played for his hometown team Molo RFC.
The Lethal Combination
The universe must have conspired to lead this two rugby greats to one destination around the same period of time.
It didn’t take a lot of training sessions, for Moi University to acknowledge they had two real gems in their hands, that was Tony and Yuan.
Their backline combination would sometimes have Tony at 12 and Yuan Fahy at 13 or the other way around, and sometimes Yuan at 13 and Tony at Fullback or also the other way around.
With the two ‘mercenaries’ the road to the Championship was a quick one. The season ended with the Moi University team being promoted to the Championship.
Much recently, in a University 7s clash between Moi and Masinde Muliro University, Tony Khadambi’s heroics came on display as Moi looked to edge out a rampant Masinde Muliro.
The Hunter Becomes The Hunted
In 2015, after being called up to play for Homeboyz RFC at the Prinsloo 7s in Nakuru, Tony made that rush decision to accept the call up without considering his fitness levels. The late Richard Sidindi ‘Real Jadhah Power’ picked up and slammed Tony Khadambi in what was like a chokeslam, in a match pitting Impala vs Homeboyz RFC, much to the bewilderment of a rather heavily parked Nakuru Athletics Club.
It is not quite clear where their careers lead them, especially with Yuan Fahy on sabbatical leave and Tony being at Impala, but one thing remains clear, there is no absence of talent in Kenya, be it at the grassroots or at the elite level.