SECTIONS

Shujaa hope to improve performance with high-altitude practice session

Nelson Oyoo in action New Zealand during this year's USA Sevens. [AFP]

Kenya Sevens rugby team left Nairobi yesterday for a 10-day high-altitude training camp in Nanyuki.

The national team aims to gain an extra edge at next month's first two opening rounds of 2017/18 HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai (December 1-2) and Cape Town (December 9-10).

The Nanyuki camp comes barely a week after the team's (Morans) withdrawal from last weekend's Assupol International Sevens in South Africa and the November 11-12 Safland Sevens tournament in Namibia, due to what Kenya Rugby Union termed as "travelling hitch."

This training schedule in the cold Nanyuki area is part of a detailed conditioning programme designed to ensure that Innocent Simiyu's squad start their busy season in good shape.

"The Nanyuki camp is a high performance session. We plan to use it to raise our intensity, test the players, try out several combinations and strategies ahead of Dubai and Cape Town," said Simiyu.

Kenya, who finished 12th with a paltry 63 points last season, will return to Nairobi on November 10 to intensify their preparations before departing for Dubai later in the month.

Kenya are in Pool A in the opening leg alongside Series champions South Africa, Canada and invitational team, Uganda.

"We will have our mini ‘King of Africa 7s’ competition in the pool. I know we have enough firepower to top the pool," said Simiyu.

"Uganda are the African Sevens champions and some of their key players are currently playing in our local sevens circuit. South Africa are the reigning World Sevens Series champions, but we have come close to beating them."

"Our results have always been close and we expect to improve this time round."

"Canada had a good season last year and play a well-structured game. We defeated them on several occasions last year and we can't leave anything to chance.”

Elsewhere, Kenya Simbas head coach Jerome Paarwater is expected to name his travelling party for this year’s Hong Kong Cup of Nations today.

The Simbas, currently ranked 27th in the world, will kick-off their tournament campaign on November 10 against Chile, who are ranked 28th, before taking on Russia (20) on November 14.