South Africa and Kenya men name squads for historic rugby league series

History will be made when the first men’s senior international matches take place between IRL full member South Africa and another African nation, as they prepare to face Kenya. The first game takes place tomorrow, 8 November, at Naka RC in Pretoria (kick off 18h local time), with a second clash scheduled for the same venue three days later, both for world ranking points.

The hosts could have up to 12 debutants and include three players with junior caps at U23 level. Rhinos’ head coach, Fanie Bredenhann, said: “A new chapter of an international experience is being cast for locally based South African players with the two forthcoming tests against Kenya. To have overcome all the postponements resulted by Covid and financial constraints was a challenge, and now that this is actually going to happen, it will be an honour to be part of the big picture. Let rugby league grow in Africa.”

Kenya men’s head coach, John Mbai, noted: “This is yet another exciting milestone for us as a Federation. It has been years in development and it is great to finally get to play South Africa. I am especially excited for the players who get to experience yet another level of competition. These two senior international matches will definitely give us an indication of where we are as Federation and what more needs to be done to improve our national squads.”

SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD

Itu Mphete (Brits Bulldogs), Althus Delport, Justin van Heerden (Centurian Lions), Marcelle Corneelsen, Ockert Roos (Grizzlies), Allan Kasselman, CP Louw, Dylan Venter, Franco van Deventer, Hendrik Mulder, James Cambell, Jean Coetzer, Marnus Coetzee (Harlequins RL), Junaide Seedat, Marcelle Viljoen, Shaune Matsane, Tjaart Pretorius (Nigel Rabbitohs), Duane Bloem, Luka Fana (Pretoria Bulls)

KENYA SQUAD

Dennish Ndinya , Sollo Mbugua Kevin , Wyclife Ratemo (AP Warriors), Steve Muniafu (Harlequins Rugby League SA), Lawrence Okello, Lucky Byron , Victor Ndungu (Ruffians), Brian Mutua, Raymond Ekutu, (Rynos), Iddo Kuta , James Maranga, Nick Tom Opiyo , Paul Seda , Ramadhan Masete, (Winam), Collins Ochieng, Kelly Omari, Patrick Mwakina (Wolves)