Simiyu asssures Kenya 7s firepower remain, Mukidza replaces Injera

By francis marangu
May 05, 2017
  • KCB’s Darwin Mukidza returns for London to replace Collins Injera.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Kenya's 7s coach Innocent Simiyu believes his team can finish on a high.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu believes all is not lost for the team going to the final rounds of the 2016/17 HSBC World Sevens Series in Paris and London. After eight rounds of play, Kenya lies 11th on the log with 57 points.

That is 100 points below leaders South Africa and 23 points short of their target.

Simiyu said their target was to get at least 10 points in every leg which they achieved in two legs only; Cape Town with 12 points and Singapore with 10 points.

Ahead of Paris Sevens on May 13-14, Simiyu remains charged that Kenya will manage a good finish.

“I believe we still have the firepower to win and get the points that we have already lost,” he said after naming his travelling team on Friday.

“Considering we did not have a pre-season and it is a transitional season, I laud the players for giving their best.”

Mukidza adds positive touch to their attack 

Collins Injera is the notable omission due to a knee injury and has been replaced by KCB’s Darwin Mukidza who played in Dubai and Cape Town.

He has made the cut owing to consistent play and good form at his club. Simiyu noted that Mukidza will add a positive touch to their attack. In France, Kenya will play in Pool C alongside France, Spain and England.

“Our first game against France will be the most important because we need to start well,” Simiyu observed.

“We have not played Spain this season but have studied their game and hope to get a win. It will be emotional against England because we came close to beating them previously but our hope is that it will be different.”

Impala’s Derik Mayar who made his debut in Hong Kong will play in the third straight leg after making the cut.

Mwamba’s Billy Odhiambo will deputise captain Andrew Amonde in the absence of Injera.

Ian Mugambi, the Kenya Rugby Union’s Director of National Squads lauded the team for keeping the fight even when the going proved to be tough.

“We have had a tough season because it was a transitional period and we had to make a few changes. But, we must embrace change to move forward.As the board, we are proud of the team.”

Kenya 7s: Andrew Amonde (KCB), Derrik Mayar (Impala RFC), Frank Wanyama (Quins), Dennis Ombachi (Nondescripts RUFC), Bush Mwale (Homeboyz RFC), Sammy Oliech (Impala RFC), Augustine Lugonzo (Homeboyz RFC), Eden Agero (Quins), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru RFC), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Billy Odhiambo (Mwamba RFC); Management- Innocent Simiyu (head coach), William Webster (Performance Analyst), Lameck Bogonko (Physiotherapist), Sam Njogu (S&C), Erick Ogweno (Team Manager).