Ambaka in World Sevens dream team

By eric odanga
May 13, 2013

William Ambaka who scored a hattrick against England in the play-off of the London Marriott Sevens joined an elite list of an HSBC Sevens World Series “Dream Team” which was named when the 2012/2013 season ended on Sunday at Twickenham, London.

The side was selected by regular television broadcast commentators. This is the first Dream team and has players from six different countries and three continents.


It has two New Zealanders with the rest coming from Samoa, South Africa, Fiji and England. The players are Tim Mikkelson, Gillies Kaka (New Zealand), Frankie Horne (South Africa), Afa Aiono (Samoa), Dan Norton (England), William Ambaka (Kenya) and Joji Raqamate (Fiji). Early in the season, Dennis Ombachi was named as one of the best players in Hong Kong Sevens.

Ambaka emerged as a runner up to England’s Dan Norton as the top try scorer at the end of the Marriott London Sevens on Sunday. Ambaka who plays for Kenya Harlequin FC scored seven tries while Norton had 10.

Kayange and Ouma Appear in the List

Also appearing on the list were Humphrey Kayange and Oscar Ouma who scored four tries each. Ambaka, the soft-spoken Quin’s player scored a hattrick against England in the play-off and also ended up third on the top point scorer’s table with 35 behind Norton 50 and Terry Bouhraoua (France) 41. Ouma and Kayange were the other top point scorer in London with 20 points.

The top try scorers were Norton 10, Ambaka 7, Kurt Baker (New Zealand) and Lote Raikabula (New Zealand) 6 each, Bourahoua, Sherwin Stowers (New Zealand) and Brett Thompson (USA) 5 each, Lewis Holland (Australia), Humphrey Kayange, Tim Mikkelson (New Zealand), Oscar Ouma, and Jeff Williams 4 each.

Dream Sevens Team

1. Afa Aiono - Samoa: A former Samoa under-20 captain who has has captained the team and led by example with a typically physical display.

2. Frankie Horne - South Africa: Played his 50th tournament in London. Injured skipper Kyle Brown summed up Horne as a man and a player, saying that he had 'very little sense of self-preservation at tournament time and will leave it all out there for the jersey and the men around him'. A colossal figure for South African Sevens, this season.

3. Tim Mikkelson - New Zealand: Consistent, professional and a leading Sevens player who epitomise New Zealand. A wing in 15s, Mikkelson operates selflessly in the scrum in Sevens and has led the team impeccably in DJ Forbes' injury-enforced absence.

4. Joji Ragamate - Fiji: Played last season for Fiji but has burst onto the stage this year with some brilliant match-winning performances. His was the telling contribution as the Fijians won the first Cup title of the season the Gold Coast and he has carried on in similar vein, scoring and making tries.

5. Gillies Kaka - New Zealand: Kaka's inclusion in this side underlines just how far he has come in a short space of time. Not involved initially this Series, his impact under coach Gordon Tietjens has been amazing.

6. Willie Ambaka - Kenya: Dubbed 'Kenya's Lomu', Ambaka was in the forwards when Mike Friday arrived as head coach and his decision to move the gentle giant into the centre and wing positions has proved inspired. His was the telling performance when Kenya reached the Cup final in Wellington, beating New Zealand in the semis, and he was also a big factor in the other three semi finals they reached this season. Massive breakthrough year.

7. Dan Norton - England: There were many contenders for the 'flyer' position in the team, among them South Africa's Cornal Hendricks and Canada's Sean Duke, but England's Norton gets the nod. Norton's work rate has seldom dipped.

He has added more defensive quality to his game to match an almost unparalleled ability to beat mean on the outside, as well as working on his kicking game, which he has also used to good effect. The season's top scorer by a distance.


Additional reporting by