The long wait for resumption of rugby action has finally come to an end, as the weekend’s Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley Shield fixtures promise to give Nondies rugby lovers the fix they’ve been craving for close to a month.
Match day five of the Kenya Cup and Eric Shirley Shield sees the Red Lion take up an opportunity to widen its chances for a spot in the playoffs, as it hosts Strathmore Leos at the Jamhuri Showground.
Loosehead prop Ernest Ngong, hooker Frank Mutuku and tighthead prop Robert Kaniu Gitonga get the nod in the front row, and will be powered by locks Steve Otieno and Henry Fullbright.
Phenomenal duo of blind side flanker Levis “Three Man” Ochieng and his open side counterpart Fidel “Baboon” Oloo link up with eighthman Ben Nyambu in the backrow.
The highly mobile and powerful forwards pack is expected to light up the tie against the Leos.
Allen “40 year old” Katoni starts at scrumhalf as Fielden Sinei comes in at flyhalf.
Benjamin Marshall marks his return from injury at inside centre and links up with Mark Ongayo how starts at outside centre.
Victor Madiorio starts at the blind side wing, as open side winger Eric “el Patrone” Ombachi and fullback Moses Begi complete the starting 15.
Hooker Toby Francombe, lock Brian Sinei, flanker Franz Obudo, scrumhalf Kabau Muruatetu, utility back Marvin Sumba and winger Enock Markinga will come in to finish the job.
The seconds kick off against Strathmore Leos II at 2pm.
Madi Jimba-Yahya starts at loosehead prop and links up with hooker Brian Itolondo and tighthead prop Wesley Odhiambo in the front row.
Charles Ndirangu and Godfrey Oyare start in the second row. Flankers Duncan Okwako and captain Jeff Otieno link up with eighthman Eric “roadblock” Okoma who returns to the field after a long injury layoff.
Scrumhalf Evans “Toi” Musili and flyhalf Washington Okello will run game plays for the side.
Hard running centres Ian Were and Eric Gitau get the nod as well.
Michael Orwa takes the blind side wing as Eddie Ndalila runs down the open side wing. Brian Murilla keeps the fullback slot.
The impact players bench sees hooker Oliver Tambo, props Stephen Darunga and Eric Shimoli, utility forwards Eddie Omondi and Simon Ngugi, scrumhalf Saidi Sumba, flyhalf Jeremy Matata and winger Valentine Etyang who also marks his return from injury.
First team: 1. Ernest Ngong 2. Frank Mutuku 3. Robert Kaniu Gitonga 4. Steve Otieno 5. Henry Fullbright 6. Levis Ochieng 7. Fidel “Baboon” Oloo 8. Ben Nyambu 9. Allen Katoni 10. Fielden Sinei 11. Victor Madiorio 12. Benjamin Marshall 13. Mark Ongayo 14. Eric Ombachi 15. Moses Begi
Replacements: 16. Toby Francombe 17. Eric Shimoli 18. Brian Itondolo 19. Brian Sinei 20. Franz Obudo 21. Kabau Muruatetu 22. Marvin Sumba 23. Enock Markinga
Seconds: 1. Madi Jimba-Yahya 2. Brian Itondolo 3. Wesley Odhiambo 4. Charles Ndirangu 5. Godfrey Oyare 6. Jeff Otieno 7. Duncan Okwako 8. Eric Okoma 9. Evans Musili 10. Washington Okello 11. Michael Orwa 12. Ian Were 13. Eric Gitau 14. Eddie Ndalila 15. Brian Murila
Replacements: 16. Oliver Tambo 17. Stephen Darunga 18. Eric Shimoli 19. Eddie Omondi 20. Simon Ngugi 21. Saidi Sumba 22. Jeremy Matata 23. Valentine Etyang