Portugal’s national rugby team playing Kenya 15’s in a test match on May 30th at RFUEA Grounds will arrive in the country next Wednesday May 27th, three days before match-day.
The 24th ranked Portuguese will be the first team to play Kenya in a series of international fixtures lined up in the second half of the year.
Portugal, who have 10 of their players plying their professional trade in France are yet to reveal their travelling party but are expected to bring their best players to Nairobi for the crucial tie. The test match has serious implications on world rankings, having been sanctioned to a full test match status by the global governing body, World Rugby.
Winners on May 30 will move up the world rankings and Portugal, who lost all their matches during their last Rugby World Cup are itching for better positioning.
On the other hand, Kenya 15’s, having missed this year’s Vodacom Cup owing to withdrawal of sponsorship by partners East Africa Breweries Limited, planned the test match to gauge players ahead of their Rugby Afrique assignments which will see the Kenya play Tunisia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Head coach Jerome Paarwater invited 51 players for a three day camp, whittling the number down to 39 ahead of next week’s duel. A final team is expected to be announced early next week by Paarwaters with the dropped players drafted in the Kenya A team also in camp for the upcoming Elgon Cup fixtures against neighbours Uganda.