Despite unwarranted pressure to the Kenya Rugby Union by the National Olympic Committe of Kenya (NOCK) to withdraw the women’s rugby team from the Olympics, Kenya Lionesses continue with their preparations.
This weekend, the team will play in the Roma Sevens after making their debut at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Mike Shamiah, the Kenya Lionesses head coach said there was marked improvement in the team which remained in France for a training camp.
“Camp went very well. This week, we had the privilage of getting the service of top french scrum coaches. Also had a chance to coach a local women side,” Shamiah told Sports News Arena.
The coach was Sam Cherouk os ASM and the local team Romagnat.
Shamia noted the players did great gym work in a modern facility and as a result built strength. The team was due to depart for Roma on Wednesday morning by road. The trip is 12 hours.
In Roma, Shamiah told KRU website they will approach every game differently.
“The draw is yet to be conducted for the Roma Sevens but there is every likelihood that we may be paired with Venezuela, South Africa and a French select side and we intend to take every game as it comes. We hope to top our pool and move to the knock out stages.”
The camp in France which was facilitated by World Rugby was beneficial.
“It is quite amazing for our team. We have put in a lot more sessions with the girls and they are really paying off. We have had various skills polished and have changed our playing style. Our mental and physical preparation has also been amazing and we hope that this pays off moving forward to this weekend’s tournament as well as the Olympic Games in August.”
In the meantime, the line ups for the two repechage tournaments in Monaco and Dubline have been completed. One team from each tournament will qualify for the Olympics.
Men’s Repechage at Stade Louis II, Monaco on Junue 18-19
Pool A: Samoa, Zimbabwe, Tonga, Ireland; Pool B: Canada, Germany, Uruguay, Sri Lanka; Pool
C: Russia, Chile, Morocco, Tunisia; Pool D: Hong Kong, Spain, Mexico, South Korea.
Women Sevens, Dublin – Women’s Repechage at UCD Bowl, June 25-26
Pool A: Spain, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar; Pool B: Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, Tunisia;
Pool C: Ireland, China, Portugal, Trinidad & Tobago; Pool D: Hong Kong, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Cook Islands.