Ayodi to captain sevens for Dubai and Cape Town

By the punter
Oct 17, 2017
  • Utility player, Oscar Ayodi will captain Kenya Sevens team for the opening two legs of the World Rugby Sevens World Series istead of injured regular captain Andrew Amonde. (Photo by David Kiania)

  • Andrew Amonde will be out for up to three months after sustaining an injury on the opening day of Christie Sevens. (SNA. File Photo)

Oscar Ayodi will captain the national seven-a-side team in the absence of Andrew Amonde who sustained a hernia injury on the opening day of Christie Sevens Tournament.

He will be assisted by Oscar Ouma. Both players are returning from injury and Ayodi played his first tournament during the Christie Sevens after missing the opening four.

Amonde joins Billy Odhiambo who was injured at Prinsloo Sevens. But, two other players have also returned from injury. They are Collins Injera and Frank Wanyama.

Injury to Amonde and Odhiambo could lead to positional changes by coach Innocent Simiyu when he names the squad for the opening two tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town, South Africa.

Depending on whether they make it to the squad, Dennis Ombachi can play as a forward or he could be deployed in the backs as a cover for Odhiambo. Ayodi is also a utility player.

Simiyu could also rely on Ouma, Ayodi, Wanyama, Ombachi and dan Sikuta as forwards.

Amonde could be out for three to four months and may only be available in March for the USA Sevens in Las Vegas. 

"It is a big setback. I am just trying to be as positive as possible," Amonde said. Talking about the injury, Amonde said: "It was bad. I had to go for surgery immediately."

He added: "I can't wait to be back. I will focus on other things and keep myself busy."

Best preparation

The captain is optimistic about the opening tournament in Dubai. "The team will be fine. We have had the best preparation before we start the circuit." 

Simiyu spoke to KRU Website about the draw in Dubai and the team's preparations. "We have an exciting Pool with two local derbies to sort out bragging rights. We have our mini 'King of Africa 7s' competition in the pool. I know we have enough firepower to top the pool."

He acknowledged Uganda's position as the Rugby Africa Sevens champions and that some of the players were in the KRU National Sevens Circuit. 

"South Africa are the reigning World Sevens Series champions and we have come close to beating them last year on numerous occasions, losing by a conversion or a late try. Canada had a good season last year and play well structured game. We have beat them a few times last year and we can't leave anything to chance," Simiyu cautioned.

He assured the preparations were on course. "The boys are playing in the local circuit where we will be selecting the team for the year 2017-18."

Kenya, in the absence of Safari Sevens plans to use Ausopul Sevens in South Africa and Safland Sevens in Namibia as a build up towards Dubai Sevens.

Kenya has been drawn in Pool A with South Africa, Canada and Uganda.