Hope as Kenya’s senior sevens players lead team for Asian tour of World Series

Hope as Kenya’s senior sevens players lead team for Asian tour of World Series

Agency News

Nairobi, Mar 28: Kenya's rugby sevens team has new reason to dream of success at the Asian tour of the World Series, after seven of its senior players agreed to end their self-imposed exile and rejoin the national squad.

Head coach Paul Murunga has made a breakthrough in convincing the seven to take over from their fringe colleagues, who have been struggling in the World Series, leaving Kenya on the cusp of relegation.

Former captains Andrew Amonde, Augustine Lugonzo and Nelson Oyoo, all of whom last appeared for Kenya at the Paris Sevens in the 2018, are all in the traveling squad to Hong Kong and Singapore for the series' seventh and eighth legs.

"It is a major statement of our team's intent as we prepare to finish on a high note in the final six legs of the World Series. We are now targeting to win at least one of the remaining circuits," Murunga said on Thursday in Nairobi.

The other senior players to rejoin the national team are Eden Agero, Daniel Sikuta, Jeffrey Oluoch and Oscar Dennis.

The seven returnees will be joined by Daniel Taabu, Vincent Onyala, Shaddon Munoko, Bush Mwale, Mark Wandeto, Johnstone Olindi and captain Jeffrey Oluoch.

"Our target is to get 10 points in each tournament," said Murunga. "We haven't achieved that yet but it's not impossible. We have seen teams coming from winning only one game in a tournament to reaching the final in the next tournament."

The coach added, "The pool is definitely hard. Where we are standing now, no team is easy for us, we have to fight very hard to get a win. And again, no team is unbeatable, so we also have to play to win."

Four of the players on duty at the Las Vegas and Vancouver Sevens picked up injuries and will miss the Asian outing.

Captain Jacob Ojee will also sit out the trip with academic commitments, but he is expected to return for the London and Paris legs.

Kenya failed to pick a win at the Vancouver Sevens three weeks ago, losing all five matches.

They are yet to reach the Main Cup quarterfinals, with Vancouver's performance seeing them drop to 14th position with 18 points, just four points above Japan who occupy the last relegation spot.

Kenya is in a tough Pool C that also features Dubai and Sydney Sevens champions New Zealand, Cape Town and Hamilton winners Fiji, and Australia. (UNI-Xinhua)