At the conclusion of the last Kenya Cup season, Mean Machine and Strathmore Leos got relegated while Kisumu RFC and Western Bulls earned promotion. It was riveting, so on October 26, the 2019/20 Kenya Cup is set to kick off another action-packed rugby year.
After beating Kabras RFC 15-23, KCB Rugby got their third title in a row and the seventh overall. In an entertaining final at the Kakamega Showground, rugby fans in Kenya can now look forward to new levels of excitement, with the sports best clubs all lining up for the 2019/20 Kenya Cup.
The 12 teams are getting ready to get back into action after a five-month break, with players all well prepared after many sevens tournaments and preseason training. That included negotiations and an important ‘transfer window’ for clubs to bring in key names before the season kicks off on October 26.
KCB open Kenya Cup title defence against Bulls next month – The Star, Kenya: KCB open Kenya Cup title defence against Bulls next month The Star, Kenya https://t.co/LxJyXq8scZ pic.twitter.com/pvXAJ2WtEa
— #KOT ?? (@TRENDININKENYA) October 1, 2019
Kenya Cup – transfer window report
Considering new signings and players staying or leaving their clubs, KCB still proves to be the most promising team ahead of the 2019/20 Kenya Cup. That is because Kabras have lost their ‘dancing feet’ number 15 Philip Wokorach to French club rugby. Ugandan duo Ivan Kirabo and Pius Ogena have also ditched the side, both making a return to the country to join KOBS RFC.
Aluda Beda and Dominic Osinoo have joined Kenya Harlequins to link up with former Kabras head coach. Amalemba joined Homeboyz RFC, while Brian Bango left for Kisumu RFC.
It is not all bad news for Kabras RFC – they have signed two backs from Homeboyz RFC, Keith Victor Imbwaga and William Diff. Kabras are reported to have agreed to terms with South Africa fly-half and a Fijian centre (watch this space).
On the other hand, KCB have made some key signings, in Shadrack Munoko, Levy Amunga, Patrick Ouko and Johnstone Olindi.
Impala RFC has confirmed six new signings including Prop Brian Munene, Hooker Givens Onyango, Lock Bravin Mukoro, Centre Israel Soi, Wingman Alvin Marube and Eighth-man Steve Tony Otieno.
Nakuru based team Menengai Oilers (see main photo) have confirmed the signing of international backrower Dalmus Chituyi, from rivals Homeboyz RFC. Other players to join the side include Timothy Okwemba, Ian Omoke, Emmanuel Mula, Sam Were, Eliud Salamba, Adams Nyamwea and Steve Arunga.
Before exiting Nakuru RFC to join the Impala club, former head coach Mitch Ocholla completed two signings from Kisii RFC including, Amos Obae and Rodgers Gworo.
Nakuru NRC will now have Kenya Lioness’ tactician Felix Oloo as the clubs, new head coach, when the Kenya Cup begins.
A protege of the late Erick Situma. Voted 2016 SOYA Community Coach of the Year. Felix Oloo does great work with age grade and women's rugby in the Nakuru region. A loyal servant of the game.#MinistryMonday #KeepingItFanatic pic.twitter.com/RRR07IbTe1
— Ministry Of Rugby (@MinistryOfRugby) January 21, 2019
Homeboyz RFC on the other side has signed another duo from Kisii RFC as confirmed by head coach Eric Bosire. The exit of the dependable duo John Ochar and Ian Amara are two big losses that will need Homeboyz full concentration on.
Kickoff date confirmed for 2019/20 Kenya Cup
Teams will have their opportunity to show off their new signings at the Impala Floodlit Tournament. From there, the 2019/20 Kenya Cup XVs calendar will kick off proper on Saturday October 26.
The championship calendar will run for nine consecutive weeks, until Saturday December 21 [teams enjoy a Christmas holiday window] before the new year restarts the competition.
KCB, Western Bulls, Nakuru, Oilers, Homeboyz and Kenya Harlequins are in Pool A and face off twice. Kabras, Mwamba, Impala, Nondies, Blak Blad and Kisumu all in Pool B.
This season will have a total of 16 weeks regulation play, before heading to the Kenya Cup playoffs, and the new champion will be crowned in the premier KRU club competition.
(The confirmed home venues for all teams will be shared in future KRU communication.)
“Main photo credit – Denis Acre-Half”