• Exclusive:Kayange Steps Down As Kenya Sevens Captain

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Oct 10, 2011-

When the 2011/2012 International Rugby Board Sevens World Series kicks off in Australia, one player will not be part of Kenya’s campaign.

Not just any other player but Kenya’s captain Humphrey Kayange will be missing.Not because of injury or work but because of study commitments.

Sportsnewsarena.com established from contacts in England that Kayange has been admitted to Bristol University and will leave Kenya in a few weeks.

Details are still a bit sketchy but his departure is inevitable. To say this is a big blow is an understatement. The tall lanky player has been the cog that turns the Kenya Sevens wheels.

This is how the IRB Sevens analysts wrote about Kayange: “Literally the first name on the team sheet. Tall, rangy and quick, Kayange is the captain and leader of the Kenyan effort. He gets through massive amounts of work, is strong at restarts and has a habit of popping up with important tries when opposition are tired and his long legs allow him to gracefully cruise to the line. Charismatic and eloquent away from the pitch.”

It does not end there. In 2009, Kenya dumped defending champions Fiji out of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai. It was the first time for Kenya to beat Fiji 26-7. Kayange has been a permanent fixture for Samurai for the Middlesex Sevens.

He was an IRB ambassador during the compaign to reinstate rugby in the Olympics. At his local club Mwamba, Kayange has helped ‘Kulabu’ to win the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens title for two years in a row.

In 2009, Kayange was nominated as an IRB Sevens player of the year. The following year, Kayange and his younger brother Collins Injera were awarded the presidential Order of Golden Warrior (OGW) perhaps the only rugby players to receive the award.

Already, the Kenya Sevens team has started conditioning under a new technical bench headed by Mitch Ocholla and Charles Cardovillis. It is unlikely that Kayange will be allowed time off studies to feature for the national team although he could play in select tournaments.

The search for a new captain had already started in anticipation of his departure with Peter Ocholla, Horace Otieno, Benedict Nyambu and Collins Injera having been named as captains for Kenya’s second side Shujaa.

Gibson weru, Kayange’s long-time assistant was left out of the initial squad of 29 named by Ocholla and Cardovillis to start preparations.

 

 

 Eric Odanga 

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