Welsh rugby coach Leigh Jones is keeping faith with his Hong Kong team’s starting fifteen for their second test match against Kenya today in Nairobi, making only two positional changes from the first match with the sides drew 19-all.
The former Newport Gwent Dragons coach is confident his side will emerge victorious after showing promise in their performance against the Kenyans last week.
Sam Purvis, who earned his first cap last week, moves to the centres to cover for Tyler Spitz, who injured his hamstring in the first test. Purvis’s move inside means there is space for Robbie Keith to start on the right wing.
Jones’ main changes come in the reserves with Mike Parfitt, Tony Wong and potential first caps James Christie and Evi Saua all coming on to the bench, alongside front-rowers Dayne Jans, Dan Barlow and Alex Ng Wai-shing, who earned his 50th cap in the opening test.
Jones will start with an unchanged forward pack with the back-row of Nick Hewson and Matt Lamming on the flanks and Thomas Lamboley at No.8 once again crucial for Hong Kong’s hopes of keeping the Kenyan attack in check.
However, the Kenyan team have made 13 changes to their squad which may pose a stiffer challenge to the visitors.
“With Kenya bringing the cavalry in, we will have to work a lot harder to get our points. We feel they will be 20% better as well; so that’s where we are. This is great exposure and a good test for the guys to show them what international rugby is all about,” Jones said.