The Kenya Simbas made three changes to the side that started last weekend’s 28-24 Gold Cup win away to Morocco, in the process handing Malcolm Onsando his full test debut.
The 23 year old lock has made two previous appearances from the bench, featuring in the 34-16 win over Uganda in Kampala on 26 May and last weekend’s victory in Morocco. He will partner Andrew Chogo in the second row.
Openside flank Elkeans Musonye and regular flyhalf Isaac Adimo return to the starting lineup after missing out on last week’s sojourn to North Africa.
Musonye replaces Philip Ikambili who suffered a concussion last weekend while Adimo comes into a rejigged backline that sees Darwin Mukidza who covered the flyhalf’s position in his absence moved to inside center in the absence of Leo Seje.
20 year Edmund Anya is handed his second start in a Simbas shirt in place of Jacob Ojee who is uninvolved for this fixture.
There are also changes on the bench,loose forward Martin Owilah and half back Xavier Bett take up the positions vacated by Erick Kerre and Mohammed Omollo. Homeboyz backrow Dalmus Chituyi is also in line for his test debut after being named as one of the match day replacements.
Zimbabwe arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday afternoon. Both teams, Kenya and Zimbabwe, will hold training sessions on Thursday that are closed to the media. Their captain’s runs on Friday will take place at the RFUEA Ground and are open to the media.
After the clash against Kenya, Zimbabwe will head to Tunis to take on hosts Tunisia who suffered a 118-0 defeat to Namibia last weekend.
Namibia’s 100% start to the campaign(they beat Uganda 55-0), means they lead the 6-team log with 10 points as Kenya Simbas follow with five points. Zimbabwe and Morocco picked 2 points each from their 23-23 draw while Tunisia and Uganda remain with no points after their opening defeats.
Winner of the 2018 Africa Gold Cup will qualify for Japan 2019 World Cup as Africa 1 to join New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and repechage winner in pool B.
Runners-up will head to a global round-robin repechage tournament to be held in Europe in November 2018.
15.Biko Adema (Nondescripts), 14. Tony Onyango (Homeboyz), 13. Peter Kilonzo (KCB), 12. Darwin Mukidza (KCB,vice-captain), 11. Edmund Anya (Strathmore Leos), 10. Isaac Adimo (Kenya Harlequin), 9. Samson Onsomu( Impala Saracens),
1. Patrick Ouko (Homeboyz), 2. Colman Were (Kabras Sugar), 3. Joseph Oder (Kabras Sugar), 4. Andrew Chogo (Kabras Sugar), 5. Malcolm Onsando (Kenya Harlequin), 6. George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), 7. Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore Leos), 8. Davis Chenge (KCB,captain)
Replacements 16. Peter Karia (KCB), 17. Moses Amusala (KCB), 18. Curtis Lilako (KCB), 19. Oliver Mang’eni (KCB), 20. Dalmus Chituyi (Homeboyz), 21. Martin Owilah (KCB), 22. Xavier Bett (Impala Saracens), 23. Max Kang’eri (Homeboyz)