Kenya Under 20 Coach Paul Odera believes that the side can impress in the Barthes Cup if they prepare the players mentally, physically and skillfully.
The Barthes Cup pool A matches will be hosted in Kenya with the overall winner set to represent the continent in the 2019 Junior World Rugby Trophy. Kenya will start their campaign with a clash against Tunisia.
Odera admits that Tunisia will be a threat as they have heavy forwards and a sharp backline. To deal with Tunisia, the coach believes, research will be key as they will be able to guide the young tucks on how to tackle the match.
The coach also feels that they fought well against Namibia in the previous meeting and he is confident that with good mentality and physicality the side will be able to pick meaningful results from the competition.
“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,” he told KRU.
The team held trials last Sunday where 180 players turned up. The squad will be expected to kick off preparations this week for the competition which will kick off on 27 March 2019.
Pool A Fixtures
Match 1: Namibia vs Senegal
Match 2: Tunisia vs Kenya
Match 3: Loser M1 vs Loser M2
Match 4: Winner M1 vs Winner M2