Simiyu replaces Ocholla in George Sevens

Dec 08, 2010
Fresh from winning two awards, three if you go back a few months to the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit, on form Innocent Simiyu departs for George, South Africa on Wednesday.

He replaces Impala fly-half Peter Ocholla who flew back home after the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens. Ocholla has examinations in the next few days while Simiyu who was unavailable for the Dubai tournament has completed his exams.  The Kenya 15’s captain has been collecting awards. In just over three weeks, he was named as the top scorer for the KRU National Sevens. This was followed closely by the Elliptics Awards, a fan-based gala organised by the Ministry of Rugby where Simiyu was voted as the Sevens Player of the Year edging out the current captain Humphrey Kayange. One week later, he picked an award for the best 15’s player in the KRU Awards Gala.

Whether Simiyu could produce the spark that the Kenya team desperately needs in at the picturesome Outeniqua Park remains to be seen. Kenya has been drawn in a ‘pool of death’ which has England, winners in Dubai; New Zealand who were knocked out by England in Dubai and Scotland. The draw for George was made according to how the teams finished in Edinburgh, Scotland last year.

Exams and job commitments has denied Kenya some key players which has been reflected in a poor start.  Richard Omwela, the KRU chairman hinted that Sidney Ashioya who captained a Shujaa side to the Carlton Sevens in Colombo, Sri Lanka last week could also be flown to George. “It is a possibility although we will keep the rest of the players in the squad so that they can learn even if not fielded,” the KRU boss said in Dubai.

Leon Adongo who sustained a light knock in Dubai is expected to be fit in George. Coach Benjamin Ayimba said the team must have a heart to take the disappointments, “as we make little steps.” The coach said Kenya will continue to struggle unless the game goes fully professional. “That is the bottom line,” he stated. 

Eric Odanga

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