Sammy Oliech to debut In Las Vegas,Ombachi returns

By francis marangu
Feb 24, 2016
  • Sammy Oliech on his way to score a try at a past game. He has been called up to the Kenya 7s team for Las Vegas and Vancouver.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

The opportunity has finally dawned for Impala utility back Sammy Oliech who is lined up to make his HSBC world series debut.

Oliech has been included in the Kenya Sevens squad that leaves on Sunday for the next two rounds in Las Vegas from March 4-6 and Vancouver from March 12-13.

Having featured for the fifteens team last year, he was elated at getting the opportunity to don national colors for the sevens team.

“It’s exciting to be in the team. Of course I have waited for this opportunity and it has come,” he told Sports News Arena.

“There is a reason why I did not travel and there is a reason why am travelling now. I will just play my usual rugby so fans shouldn't expect anything different from me.”

Noting that he has played alongside most of the selected players in the past, Oliech relishes the re-union at a much higher level.

“I played with Oscar at Safari Sevens, I played alongside Amonde with the fifteens team and most of the players as well at different times. They are players I understand well and gelling will not be difficult.”

The inclusion of Oliech is part of a promise by the technical bench to expose more young players ahead of the Olympic Games in August.

He follows in the footsteps of Frank Wanyama (Quins), Nelson Oyoo and Donald Aluoch (Nakuru), Jeff Oluoch (Homeboyz) and Robert Aringo (Impala) who have all debuted this season.

Rotational aspect to stay 

Head coach Benjamin Ayimba said they will stick with their rotational aspect for all the legs.

“As we said at the beginning, this is the season to give exposure to more new players and this time it is Oliech.”

Ayimba added that the technical bench is satisfied with the input of new players this far.

“They are bringing in a lot of excitement to the squad and their results have been good.” Mwamba’s Dennis Ombachi is making his maiden tour this season.

“Dennis has aggressive power upfront and he has been consistent in training. It's good to have him back,” Ayimba said of his return after last featuring at the Olympics qualifiers in November where he scored the winning try in the final against Zimbabwe.

Homeboyz duo of Augustine Lugonzo and Leonard Mugaisi is making the cut after missing the last outing. Bush Mwale misses with injury.

Kenya will play in Pool A at Las Vegas and will face New Zealand, Portugal and Russia. Ayimba analyzed the pool as a tough one for Kenya who are currently placed eighth with 42 points.

“Teams are very strong now. Having Portugal and Russia who are a tier below us in the same pool makes it competitive.”

Squad: Andrew Amonde (KCB, Captain), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Oscar Ouma (Nakuru), Humphrey Kayange (Mwamba), Augustine Lugonzo (Homeboyz), Biko Adema (Nondescripts), William Ambaka (Kenya Harlequin), Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Billy Odhiambo (Strathmore Leos), Leonard Mugaisi (Homeboyz), Samuel Oliech (Impala) Non-travelling reserves Eden Agero (Kenya Harlequin), Samuel Motari (Impala), Robert Aringo (Impala); Management: Benjamin Ayimba (Head Coach), Paul Murunga (Assistant Coach), Geoffrey Kimani (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Lameck Bogonko (Physio), Newton Ong’alo (Team Manager).