Kenya Sevens winger William Ambaka is set for his maiden test debut when Kenya Simbas take on visiting Tunisia in 2019 Rugby World Cup Africa qualifier on Saturday at the RFUEA grounds.
Head coach Ian Snook named the 28-year-old Ambaka in his Simbas squad 23 players that will be seeking their fourth consecutive victory in the qualifiers cum the Africa Gold Cup.
Ambaka, who currently plays for Kenya Harlequin, last played for Simbas against visiting Currie Cup side Western Province from South Africa in June 2014 at the RFUEA grounds.
Snook also handed Kenya Commercial Bank’s (KCB’s) blind-side flanker Martin Owilah his first start after coming off the bench in the last three matches.
Kenya started their campaign, beating Morocco 28-24 in Rabat before downing Zimbabwe 45-36 in Nairobi.
The Simbas then edged out Uganda Cranes 38-22 in Nairobi but failed to secure any bonus point from their three outings. That makes their campaign tough keeping in mind that their main rivals Namibia, who are the defending champions, have won their matches with huge margins and bonus points.
Namibia top the six teams log with 20 points from four wins and are followed by Kenya Simbas with 12 points from three wins. Kenya now must beat Tunisia and Namibia in their last matches to qualify for the World Cup and reclaim the Africa Gold Cup.
Tunisia lost heavily 118-0 to Namibia in Windhoek, won 18-14 against Zimbabwe in Tunis before losing 67-12 to Uganda in Kampala.
Kenya Simbas and Namibia’s clash on August 18 in Windhoek will perhaps be the deciding duel.