Kenya have moved the Victoria Cup match against Zimbabwe to the 30 000-seater Nyayo National Stadium, in a bid to create an intimidating atmosphere for the Sables on Saturday.
The match had been pencilled for the traditional Kenya Rugby Grounds in Nairobi.
The Sables are guaranteed to lift the Victoria Cup despite the result on Saturday, but despite this, so serious are the Kenyans to restore lost pride that they have moved the game to a bigger and more spacious venue closer to the masses.
“The Nyayo National Stadium will Saturday host its first international 15s rugby Test match between Kenya and Zimbabwe, heralding in a new era in the game.
“The announcement was made when Wananchi Group through its consumer brand Zuku unveiled two million shillings sponsorship for the Victoria Cup derby at the 30 000-seater arena, marking a shift from the traditional RFUEA grounds along Ngong Road,”
reported a Kenyan publication, the Daily Nation Tuesday.
The Sables, who were on a four-match winning streak left the country in the early hours of today and will be out to complete a double over their opponents.
The last time the two teams met last month, scrumhalf Charles Jiji made a mazy run from the centre line side-stepping three players on his way to plant a try as the Sables took revenge on Kenya following a 42-24 win at Harare Sports Club.
The Sables’ technical department has made four changes to the Sables starting line-up with the most notable absentees being skipper Daniel Hondo and flanker Jacques Leitao due to personal commitments.
Young Dylan Bradshaw fills up the void left by Hondo at inside centre where he will partner speedster Lloyd Machanjaire in midfield, while veteran Cleopas Makotose is relegated to the bench.
Towering lock forward Schalk Ferreira makes a return after missing the Uganda game and is set to partner Fortune Chipendu in the second row to give balance to the scrimmage and more options in the line-outs.
Stand-in captain Costa Dinha moves to blindside flanker to replace Leitao, where he will partner Shingi Mpofu, while Norman Mukondiwa completes the loose-trio at eighthman.
Young loosehead prop Brian Makamure makes way for the experienced Kuda Kambasha, who will partner Danford Mutamangira in the front row, with the dreadlocked Prayer Chitenderu also retained at hooker.
Meanwhile the Sables moved up from number 39 to 38 on the International Rugby Board rankings early this week, while the Kenyans were the biggest fallers of the week, dropping three places to 40th following their 32-18 loss to Uganda last Saturday.
A win for the Sables in this encounter would further catapult them to a higher ranking.
Sables team for Kenya
1. D Mutamangira, 2. P Chitenderu,
3. K Kambasha, 4. F Chipendu, 5. Schalk Ferreira, 6.S Mpofu, 7.C Dinha, 8. N Mukondiwa, 9. C Jiji, 10. T Makwanya, 11. T Nemadire, 12. D Bradshaw, 13. L Machanjaire, 14. G Nechironga, 15.D Robertson,
Replacements: 16.T Karuru, 17. P Joubert, 18.B Makamure,b 19 Jan Ferreira,
20. N Ndlovu, 21. C Makotose, 22. T Nelson