Kenya: Lionesses Eyeing Stellenbosch, Doha Camps for 2023 Preparations

Nairobi — The National rugby women’s team, the Kenya Lionesses, are looking towards training camps in either Stellenbosch, South Africa, or Doha, to prepare for an expectedly busy 2023.

Head coach Dennis Mwanja, who handles both the sevens and 15s teams, says he hopes that the training camps can be approved so that they have a better show.

The 15s are preparing for the Africa Women’s Cup in may where they will face off with South Africa, Madagascar and Cameroon for the Championship, which will also be used as qualification for the 2025 Women’s World Cup.

The sevens will meanwhile be preparing for the World Cup qualifiers and World Sevens Series qualifiers as well.

“We are planning long term because we have a lot on the plate. There’s a delicate balance on how much we should put in for both the sevens and 15s,” the coach said.

He added; “We are looking at local camps as well as the possibility of an international camp probably in Stellenbosch or Qatar but it is yet to be confirmed. We will do a lot in terms of training for both teams and we also have unconfirmed possibilities of friendly matches. We are waiting for January to confirm the availability of various teams but our work is cut out.”

Despite the plans, the achilles heel in the team’s preparation is the financial aspect, with players having struggled for months without pay. However, they are optimistic that there will be brighter days ahead.

Kenya Rugby Union CEO Aggrey Wabulwenyi while speaking to Capital FM’s Saturday Music and Sports said the new year will have better goodies for the women’s team.

“We have not forgotten about the Lionesses. There are several plans in place and we are speaking to various potential partners to see how they can come on board and offer assistance to the team. So, yes, we have struggled for the past few months, but the Union is working to improve the team’s fortunes,” Wabulwenyi said.

Meanwhile, as the Union works to solve the financial side of the team, coach Mwanja says he will be working towards a wholesome improvement, especially with the huge tasks ahead of them.

“We need to work on all areas and raise the bar high. We are looking to compete with the likes of South Africa and that definitely means having more training and playing more matches to give these girls more exposure,” said the tactician.

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