Kenya National Men's Under 20 Rugby Team, Chipu, has a mountain to climb towards Uruguay in their opening Pool & # 39; A & # 39; battle of World Rugby Under 20 Trophy in Sao Paulo, Brazil Tuesday night.
The African Masters are back on the global scene after a 10-year absence, finished fourth in the 2009 Nairobi edition; their only other appearance in this competition.
Paul Oderaas charges will seem to disturb the South Americans who boast great experience in this annual second tier-world tournament.
Uruguay, masters in 2008, have played nine times in this championship. They also made an appearance in the 2009 World Rugby Under 20 Championship event.
Chipu was ruthless in qualification, humiliating Tunisia 73-0 on April 4 in the Barthes Trophy semifinals before impressive heavyweights Namibia 21-18 in the final at KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka in Nairobi on April 7.
But it will be another test for the African kings as all of their Pool A opponents are placed above Kenya in world-class 15-a-side for seniors. Japan is ranked 11th globally, while Uruguay and Brazil are 19 and 26 respectively. Kenya is 32. means they have to dig deep for a victory.
Chipu preparations further complicate their chances. Not only did the two expert coaches from South Africa miss their short notice to come to Nairobi, but also their training camp in South Africa, where they had made friendly fights, could not materialize due to insufficient funds.
Instead, Odera and his boys played a Prescott Cup schools-select side and two friendlies against Kenya's Simbas trialists.
Despite the economic challenges, Odera is optimistic about the completion in a respectable position in the eight nation tournament.
"It will be difficult, a very difficult tournament. We cannot speak of winning all three matches in our group, but we will not scare Africa," offered Odera, naming his last team in Nairobi two weeks ago.
Tonga, Portugal, Canada and Hong Kong are in pool "B". The winner of this tournament will replace the transformed Scotland in the 2020 edition of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.