Ayodi: We are confident we shall deliver

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 24, 2017
  • Oscar Ayodi who will captain Kenya for the opening two legs admitted the tough challenge ahead but promised Kenya will deliver. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The fight for places in the national seven-a-side team has just started ahead of what promises to be a very busy season.

Oscar Ayodi, the team captain is optimistic Kenya will deliver in the opening two tournaments.

Coach Innocent Simiyu, made more than five changes in the team that travels to Dubai for the opening leg of the World Rugby Sevens World Series which will be punctuated by the Rugby World Cup Sevens and Commonwealth games in San Francisco (USA) and Australia.

Some of the familiar faces not in the Dubai-bound squad are Augustine Lugonzo, Bush Mwale, Andrew Amonde (injury) and Billy Odhiambo (injury).  

Oscar Ayodi, a utility player from Homeboyz captains a side in which Kenya Harlequin FC's Herman Humwa makes his debut. Humwa is one of the changes which sees the return of Willy Ambaka, who returned from New Zealand's Manawatu.

Ambaka was last in action at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver. Jeff Oluoch is also back for the first time since the 2015/16 season. 

Injury to Andrew Amonde has given other players an opportunity to make their presence felt especially in the forwards where Dan Sikuta also returns to partner Frank Wanyama.

Other utility players who could be deployed as forwards are Ayodi, Humwa, Ambaka and Ombachi. 

Injers returns from injury

Collins Injera, the second all-time top try scorer in the series also returns from injury after last playing for the team in Hong Kong.

Commenting on Humwa's selection, Simiyu said: " Herman is a big boy...quite good on the high ball and brings physicality and pace to our game."

Speaking about Oluoch's selection, Simiyu said: "Jeff is coming off a great sevens season with Homeboyz and we believe in picking players when their tails are up and hope he delivers while playing for Shujaa. "

Ayodi admitted on his ascension to cataincy: "It is a challenge. We are going into the season confident and hopefully the results will show. Headinng into the season, we are confident we shall deliver."

The team leaves the country on Monday, November 20. Kenya is in Pool A with reigning series and tournament champions South Africa, Canada and Uganda.

They will start against Canada at 9.30 a.m. East African Time on Friday, December 1 before tackling South Africa at 1.36 p.m and complete their day one assignments against Uganda at 6.31 p.m.

Kenya:  Willy Ambaka (Kenya Harlequin FC), Dan Sikuta (Kabras Sugar), Herman Humwa (Quins), Jeff Oluoch (Homeboyz), Frank Wanyama (Quins), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Eden Agero (Quins), Sam Oliech (Impala), Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Daniel Ombachi (Nondescripts RUFC), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru RFC). 

Uganda: Eric Kasiita (captain), James Odongo, Pius Ogena, Philip Wokorach, Michael Okorach, Solomon Okia, Joseph Oredo, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Aloysioua Ruhweza-Ayera, James Ijongat, Timothy Mudoola. Officials: Tolbert Onyango (coach), Michael Wandera (team manager), Noah Kayongo (physiotherapist)

South Africa: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman (captain), Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Marco Labuschagne. 

Compiled from KRU