Top seeds, Kenya Harlequin FC have named a strong side for the Airtel Dala Sevens, the second tournament of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens circuit to be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Kisumu Polytechnic ground.
Charles Cardovillis, the Quins coach has included a young talent William Mawira because of the unavailability of Wilson Kopondo, Sidney Ashioya and Dennis Muhanji - who is on a special Kenya Rugby Union Sevens program.
He has retained the bulk of the squad which won the Kenya Harlequin FC Christie Sevens last Saturday by beating Mwamba 31-12 at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground.
Commenting on the draw Cardovillis said:
“The kind of draw which you expect when you are the top seeds. On paper it looks relatively straightforward but it is suicidal to underestimate any team.”
The Quins squad has William Ambaka, Patrice Agunda, Anthony Mutai, Peter Abuoga, Naphtaly Bondo, William Mawira, Eden Agero, Nato Simiyu, Felix Ayange, Allan Omuka and Lyle Asiligwa.
Mwamba may be without Horace Otieno also away on the special KRU Sevens program. Also missing is Joseph Oriwo who is still recovering from injury. But the rest of the players are available. It is in Kisumu where Lavin Asego started his rugby career.
Some of the players in the Mwamba team are Dan Sikuta, Chris Asego, Dennis Ombachi, Collins Injera, Eric Avungana, Kevin Wambua and Michael Agevi.
Several but minimal changes have also been made to the 32-team tournament which has been divided into two divisions. Mean Machine have withdrawn because of logistical issues and have been replaced by Kisumu II. Moi University have also been replaced by Busia RFC.
Kenya Polytechnic rugby team have withdrawn following a grisly accident on Mombasa Road involving their volleyball and athletics teams in which two of their colleagues were killed.
They have been replaced by Kericho RFC. KCA University and Multimedia University have been promoted to Division one.
In the meantime, Kenyan rugby fans will again have the opportunity to fete outstanding personalities during the Ministry of Rugby’s second Elliptics Awards Gala Dinner on September 8, 2012 at the Pride Inn in Westlands.
The event was first held in 2010 and awards individuals and organizations that have participated in contributing to the excellence, commitment and love of rugby. It is run, organized and coordinated by the ‘Ministry of Rugby.”
This year’s highlight will be recognizing and awarding some of the players who have taken Kenya to the highest levels of rugby.
The categories are: Elliptics MVP of the Year (Male and Female), Referee of the Year, Director of the Year, Team of the Year, Best Audio Media, Best Visual Media, Best Print Media, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, School of the Year, Fan of the Year, Hall of Fame Dala Seven.
Draw Pool A: Quins, Western Bulls, Blak Blad, Catholic University. Pool B: Mwamba, Nakuru, KCA University, Multimedia. Pool C: Kenya Commercial Bank, Kisumu RFC, Eldoret RFC, Stormers. Pool D: Strathmore University, Homeboyz, Impala, Daystar University. Division One: Quins v Blak Blad (10 am), Western Bulls v Catholic University (10.18), Mwamba v KCA University, (10.36), Nakuru v Multimedia (10.54), KCB v Eldoret (11.12), Kisumu v Stormers (11.30), Strathmore v Impala (11.48), Homeboyz v Daystar (12.06), Quins v Catholic University (12.24), Western Bulls v Blak Blad (12.42), Mwamba v Multimedia (1 pm), Nakuru v KCA University (1.18), KCB v Stormers (1.36), Kisumu v Eldoret (1.54), Strathmore v Daystar (2.12), Homeboyz v Impala (2.30), Blak Blad v Catholic University (2.48), KCA University v Multimedia (3.06), Eldoret v Stormers (3.24), Impala v Daystar (3.42), Quins v Western Bulls (4.18), Mwamba v Nakuru (16.36), KCB v Kisumu (4.54), Strathmore v Homeboyz (5.12) Division Two Pool E: Kisumu II, Busia, Siaya MTC, Masaku. Pool F: Kericho, Masinde Muliro University, Unicef Kakamega, Mbale. Pool G: Bungoma RFC, Webuye, Comras, Molo RFC. Pool H: Oryx, Thika RFC, Kisii RFC, Mumias. Order of play Kisumu II v Siaya (10 am), Busia v Masaku (10.18), Kericho v Unicef Kakamega (10.36), Masinde Muliro v Mbale (10.54), Bungoma v Comras (11.12), Webuye v Molo (11.30), Oryx v Kisii (11.48), Thika v Mumias (12.06), Kisumu II v Masaku (12.24), Busia v Siaya MTC (12.42), Kericho v Mbale (1.00), Masinde Muliro v Unicef Kakamega (1.18), Bungoma v Molo (1.36), Webuye v Comras (1.54), Oryx v Mumias (2.12), Thika v Kisii (2.30), Siaya MTC v Masaku (2.48), Unicef Kakamega v Mbale (3.06), Comras v Molo (3.24), Kisii v Mumias (3.42), Kisumu II v Busia (4.18), Kericho v Masinde Muliro (4.36), Bungoma v Webuye (4.54), Oryx v Thika (5.12).
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Additional reporting by KRU