Wambua eyes World Series slot: Kenya Lionesses coach hopeful of doing well in qualifiers

JANET OKELO RUGBY TEAM Kenya Lioness Rugby team coach Kevin Wambua give instructions during training at RFU Grounds on Nov 2, 2017. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenyan girls face South Africa, Mexico and Papua New Guinea in battle for world berth.

Kenya Lionesses coach Kevin Wambua believes the national women’s rugby team will have a great chance of qualifying for next year’s HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series by topping their Series qualifying Group in Hong Kong.

The Lionesses have been drawn in Group B alongside rivals South Africa, Mexico and Papua New Guinea for the upcoming (April 5-6) qualifiers.

Wambua’s charges will be making a second attempt at qualifying for the prestigious global competition after losing 7-26 to Italy in the last year’s quarter-finals, at the same venue.

But having played against their continental rivals South Africa and Mexico before, Wambua is convinced his side can challenge for the trophy.

“We are in a balanced pool and other than Papua New Guinea, we have faced Mexico and South Africa before and are positive that,” Wambua said.

“Based on the work we have constantly been putting in, we shall return the results on day one requisite to first qualify for the quarters and challenge from there heading into the knockouts.”

Kenya will begin their campaign on April 5 with a clash against Papua New Guinea at 5.30am (EAT) before taking on Mexico at 8.04am and South Africa at 11am.

The winner of the tournament will qualify as a core team for next season’s World Sevens Series, Women’s category.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook has been handed a two year deal by the Kenya Rugby Union.

The New Zealander’s appointment was revealed on Monday, barely four months after the Union parted ways with Jerome Paarwater.

Elsewhere, a Kenya Sevens string side take on South African club False Bay in the Victoria Falls Sevens, in Zimbabwe this morning (11.06am).