NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9- Ending an indifferent season on a high is the mission on the cards for national rugby sevens team Shujaa in the last two legs of the 2010/2011 IRB World Series in Twickenham and Murrayfield.
While naming the travelling party for both legs on Monday, head coach, Benjamin Ayimba set qualifying for the Main Cup quarters in London and Scotland as the benchmark for the side as he seeks to lay the platform for the next campaign.
“The season has had very mixed results, not the best as has been shown in the past. We are looking at getting good results, eight or ten points in both so that we have a good platform for the next season,” Ayimba told Capital Sport.
“This season was a building phase and it carries on in the next season. It will probably be a tough beginning as well in since we have three tournaments to play in the first leg of the next season in Australia, Dubai and South Africa,” he added.
Kenya will take on New Zealand, Wales and Spain in Pool A in London while South Africa, Australia and Canada stand in their way in Group C of Scotland 7s.
Victor Odour and Brian Nyikuli have been re-instated to the travelling squad as Ayimba seeks a response to the pointless returns in the previous two legs in Hong Kong and Adelaide.
Strathmore’s Felix Ayange and Mwamba RFC’s Dennis Ombachi earned their first call-ups to Shujaa but are listed in the non-travelling reserves in the squad that will hold its first training session on Saturday at Nairobi’s Brooke House grounds.
“We’ve brought in Oduor and Nyikuli who had dipped in form to strengthen the team and get us better results in the UK. We will play against two teams who have beaten us this season in London and our aim is to get out of the group and from then on we will have easier matches,” the coach observed.
In another development, Sports Minister Dr. Paul Otuoma will accompany the team that leaves next Monday for London.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chair, Mwangi Muthee stated this as he also announced plans were underway to make the sports professional next season.
“We want to put proper terms of reference to the players which will be results oriented. The players must money from the sport for them to be motivated and that is the only way we shall achieve the results we all desire,” the chair said.
The KRU boss added: “The minister going himself is a statement from Government of its commitment to the team’s standing and it’s up to the boys to make him proud.”
Humphrey Kayange (Captain), Lavin Asego, Collins Injera (Mwamba RFC), Victor Oduor, Sidney Ashioya, Leon Odongo, William Ambaka (Harlequin), Oscar Ouma, Gibson Weru (Nakuru), Brian Nyikuli (Impala) and Andrew Amonde (KCB).
Non travelling reserves.
Felix Ayange (Strathmore FC), Patrice Agunda (Harlequin), Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba)