Asego, Injera, Ombachi back in Kenya 7s team

By the punter
Dec 31, 2021

They are back!

Some of the players who had been excluded from the national seven-a-side team after asking for their terms to be reviewed are back in the team.

Felix Ochieng, who took over from Paul Treu has named a training squad from which 12 players will be selected for the next two legs of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series in New Zealand and USA in February.

The training squad has a good mix of players who have been in and out of the team and others who took the opportunity of the player's mutiny to fight for their place.

Tony Onyango, Bush Mwale, Oliver Mang'eni, Jacob Ojee, Michael Wanjala Junior, Samson Onsomu and Leonard Mugaisi form the new-breed of players who have had to force their way in to the team.

Dennis Muhanji did enough to impress the technical bench which has also recalled former vice captain Collins Injera, Daniel Ombachi and Felix Ayange. Fly-half, Lavin Asego who last played for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games has also been named in the training squad and could make his come back.

Oscar Ouma who plays in Sri Lanka has club commitments although efforts are being made to ensure he is available. The squad resumes training on January 5.

Eddie Omondi, the KRU secretary had promised some normalcy after Kenya's disastrous start to the 2014/15 season. The ball is in the court of the players and the technical bench as the series nears the halfway stage.

Also, the performance in New Zealand and USA could help pacify the sponsors who have been jittery.

In the absence of selectors, it is not clear who called the shots althought there could have been input from Ochieng', Steve Sewe (team manager) and Dennis Ombui (KRU Director in charge of national squads).

Ochieng' was named as coach after Treu's resignation. He will be assisted by Vuyo Zanga, the attack coach and Graham Bentz (Strength and Conditioning) who have been retained by the KRU.

The decision to retain Ochieng' as coach follows a predictable trend where former players are taking over the coaching duties in their respective teams.

Some of the teams which have former players in charge of their national teams are Spain, Argentina, England, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Ochieng's first assignment will be in February where Kenya has been drawn in D with Argentina, Scotland and Samoa for the Wellington Sevens, the fourth tournament of the Series.

After three tournaments, Kenya is placed 14th with 11 points with Japan, the only other core team in 15th with three points. In this lower half above Kenya are Portugal (13 points), Canada 14, France 19 and Wales 25.

USA who won the Plate in Port Elizabeth are placed ninth. They are coached by Michael Friday who previously handled Kenya.

South Africa has opened a eight point gap ahead of second-placed Fiji 0n 51. New Zealand are third on 47 points, one ahead of Australia, Argentina (40), England (37), Samoa (29) and Scotland (27) follow in that order.

Training squad: Patrice Agunda, Dennis Muhanji, Felix Ayange (Kenya Harlequin FC), Collins Injera, Dan Sikuta, Dennis Ombach, Lavin Asego (Mwamba RFC), Andrew Amonde, Oliver Mang'eni, Jacob Ojee (Kenya Commercial Bank), Michael Wanjala, Billy Odhiambo, Tonny Owuor, Tony Onyango, (Strathmore University), Oscar Ayodi, Leonard Mugaisi, Michael Wanjala jnr, Bush Mwale (Homeboyz), Samson Onsomu (Resolution Impala Saracens).