NAIROBI, Kenya, February 19- Kenya has started early the process of identifying potential young players to represent the country at the 2016 Olympics in rugby sevens.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Mwangi Muthee said Kenya need to stamp its authority as a super power in the shorter version of rugby and will have to do just that at both the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Series, the World Championships in Moscow and the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro in three years time.
“The secret to good performance is in early preparations. We have seen the good work done by our technical bench led by Mike Friday to restore our glory and spot in the world ranking.”
“The blip in performance in different legs however, shows that we still have a long way to go and hopefully they will guide us there,” he said in Nairobi.
Rugby together with golf have been included in the 27 disciplines that will be in Rio and Kenya wants to widen its medal brackets beyond the traditional track championships.
“Rugby is a major sport in Kenya. We have the players to do us that task and we will see how they develop and shape up ahead of the Olympics,” said Muthee.
The national rugby 7s squad is currently resting ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens in March 23.
But Muthee believes the recipe for success is with good preparations and that is why has earmarked the Friday to start plans for the Olympics by scouting for new talent, which will carry Kenya through the qualification.
Kenya Sevens team captain Andrew Amonde was also optimistic, the country will finally find its rightful place on the world stage and be able to string together a number of positive results especially this season.
“It was a learning process and as we move forward we will work on our consistency. I pay tribute to all those who have supported us and stood by us through it all, we really appreciate the support,” Amonde said.
The team is currently at loggerheads with the coaches as they want to compete in the local league, but the coaches want them to take full rest after a draining campaign in Wellington and Las Vegas.
“We are now a big team and many countries are watching Kenya keenly. We must maintain this momentum and build on it for the future championships,” said Muthee.
But Amonde claimed they would love to take part in the Kenya Cup.
“I have been in contact with some of my team mates and they have been asking if we can play for our clubs in the final.”
“As a player we have deep ties with our clubs and so we have every intention of playing for teams, but at the same time we understand that there are rules and regulations, which need to be followed,” the Captain said.