Kenya Sevens name strong squad for 2019-20 season

By Clement Wekulo: Friday, November 22nd 2019 at 06:15 GMT +3 | Sports
Kenya's Daniel Taabu tackles Siosifa Lisala of Japan during their Challenger quarterfinal of the USA Sevens Rugby tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada on March Saturday. [Courtesy]

Kenya men’s rugby Sevens coach Paul Feeney is keen on guiding the team to a top-eight finish when the 2019-20 World Sevens Series kicks off with the Dubai leg next month.

Feeney, who has named an 18-man squad for the 10-legged Series, has been boosted with the return of several key players as Shujaa look to recover from last season’s disastrous performance which saw them finish 13th after flirting with relegation for the entire campaign.

Collins Injera, the team’s all-time leading try-scorer, headlines the squad with the likes of captain Andrew Amonde, William Ambaka, Billy Odhiambo and Nelson Oyoo making the cut.

Mwamba duo of Tony Omondi and Mike Okello, as well as KCB’s Geoffrey Okwach, are the only players without World Series experience, who have made it to the team that will also represent the country at next year’s Olympic Games, in Tokyo.

Johnstone Olindi, Vincent Onyala and Daniel Taabu have been retained following a brilliant display in their debut season.

Onyala was Shujaa’s lead try scorer in the 2018-19 season after crossing the whitewash 22 times while his KCB teammate Olindi was the team’s best tackler with 64 tackles.

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“We are looking to have a consistent season as we aim for a top-eight finish at the close of the 2019-20 campaign. I am happy with the blend of youth and experience in the squad,” Feeney said yesterday.

The New Zealander will on Thursday next week drop five players when he names the squad that travels for the Dubai and Cape Town assignments.

Dubai Sevens, which will for the first time be played at one venue alongside the women’s event, is slated for December 5-7 before action heads to Cape Town one week later.

“One of the reasons Tony Omondi made it to the squad is because he is a very good kicker. We have witnessed a few mistakes from the team but I think we are heading in the right direction for sure,” said Feeney.

 

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