Kenya Rugby 2023 review

Kenya Simbas captain George Nyambua and Uganda's Ivan Magomu and Zambia's captain Photo/Uganda Rugby Union

The year 2023 has mixed fortunes for Kenyan Rugby fans and take a look at some of the moments that took place in the country.

1. 2023 retirees

This year has seen many greats of the game hanging their boots after a great service to the game. One of the notable players to call it a day is 7s veteran Collins Injera who retired earlier in the year after very many years of service to the game.

Other players who followed suit are Willy Ambaka, Billy Odhiambo, Darwin Mukidza who retired internationally among others.

2. Kabras and Mwamba retaining the Kenya Cup.

Kabras went down in their history for winning the Kenya Cup for the first time back to back. They went on to win their third Kenya Cup by defeating KCB in their home tuff.

Kabras Dan Angwech races away from Quins defence, Photo Courtesy/ Lesnsah Image.

Kabras Dan Angwech races away from Quins defence, Photo Courtesy/ Lesnsah Image.

Winning this they also went down in books by recording a hundred per cent winning record. They did not lose any match in the course of their glory. In the women’s Kenya Cup, Mwamba also went on to win their second successive Kenya Cup after beating Yamanaki Impala.

3. Enterprise Cup

This year’s enterprise Cup saw Kabras once again asserting their dominance in the rugby 15s set up in the country. They again defeated KCB in a tightly contested match held in Nairobi at the RFUEA grounds. They came from behind to win 30-27 against the bankers.

4. KSSSA 15s and 7s

This year’s KSSSA term 1 games saw new names going to the nationals, unlike the previous years where we had familiar names. We had several schools gracing the events for the very first time.

Butula School, Kisii School, All Saints were some of the schools having their maiden appearance in the nationals. Butula under the tutelage of veteran tactician Shimenga Libondo emerged the winners on the first shot of appearing in the nationals.

In the 7s category, there were also new names such as Kitondo gracing the event for the first time. Fast-rising Koyonzo High School asserted their dominance by clinching the championship for the second year. They also went on to lift the East African 7s competition for the first time.

5. National sevens circuit

The national sevens circuit went down after the completion of the regular 15s season in the country. Here KCB had a fine run managing to clinch three legs out of a possible six.

Menengai Oilers who were the defending champions finished fifth on the log.

6. Chipu

The Kenya rugby 15s team under 20, the Chipu had a fair year. We managed to host the Barthes Trophy at the Nyayo stadium. However, the team was not able to win the trophy despite playing in the finals against Zimbabwe.

Despite losing the finals, the side also featured in the World Junior Trophy again held in Nairobi. They failed to match their opponents and suffered another loss to Zimbabwe finishing sixth, with Spain being crowned Champions.

7. Kenya Simbas

The national 15s team, Kenya Simbas, did not have many test matches. In the annual Victoria Cup, they lost to hosts Uganda in a tightly contested match that ended 21-20.The match also served as the first leg of the Elgon Cup.

The second leg was played in Kisumu and here Simbas managed to redeem themselves by edging their opponents Uganda and winning the cup again.


The Simbas featured in the Currie Cup finishing eighth despite missing the final fixtures due to financial constrains.

The campaign saw the return of Jerome Paarwaters as head coach. Paarwater had more than 13 players making their trst debut.

In the ladies category, the Lionesses, they had a fine run this year. They also managed to win the Elgon Cup by beating Uganda’s lady cranes. Also in the WXIV series held in Dubai, they managed to compete favourably and once again booked their next year’s slot.

8. Kenya 7s

Shujaa, the national men’s team had a year of mixed fortunes. The team faced one of the most disappointing moments of 7s history in the country by getting relegated from the HSBC series to the challenger series which they will be taking part in starting at the beginning of next year.

However, the team also had its own achievements for the year. The team managed to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Paris by defeating Africa’s first ranked South Africa in Africa men’s 7s.

This gave them a boost. The Kenya rugby union managed to stage safari 7s after a year hiatus. Here the Shujaa managed to win beating Samurai in the final.

This was a plus to them as they are preparing to compete in the challenger series and earn a slot back to the HSBC.
The ladies team, however, did not manage to qualify for the Olympics and we’re also defeated by Uganda in the safari 7s finals.

9. Legends.

The legends managed to have a match against Ugandan legends. The team managed to win all the legs held in Uganda’s Kyadondo stadium and RFUEA in Nairobi. They also had an invitation to attend the Dubai 7s where they competed fairly.

10. Impala Floodies.

This year saw the Impala floodlights tournament reaching a milestone of 40th edition.

KCB Rugby in past event. Photo/KCB Rugby Twitter

KCB Rugby in past event. Photo/KCB Rugby Twitter

The tournament was successful with KCB dominating and winning it for a record 10th time. The team managed to retain it after having won the previous four editions.

11. Victoria 15s

Victoria 15s second edition saw MMUST shock Kabras 14-13 in the final played at Mamboleo Grounds.


Dagoretti Bullfogs forward John Meraba passed on on January while Kenyan InternationalBernadete Olesia died in August.

Other rugby members who died include ex-Kenyan International Edward Kinyangi, Makueni physio Felix Kioko, Nakuru RFC’s  Levis Nyange and others.

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