Rugby Rugby

Friday saga takes back seat as Shujaa return

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OUMA-VEGASNAIROBI, Kenya, May 14- The subject of the ongoing power struggle at Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) was cast aside as the national sevens rugby team arrived back home from London on Tuesday afternoon with players offering their full support to Mike Friday.

The side also known as Shujaa, is now keen to prepare for the Moscow World Cup with Kenya aiming to go higher than the fourth place they made the last time the event was held in Dubai.

The English head coach who did not accompany the team made the headlines on Monday when he was ‘sacked’ by Union Director of National Teams and Elite Performance, Phillip Jalang’o, before chairman Mwangi Muthee overruled the decision.

Muthee, who travelled with the team from London, was not available to field questions from a battery of journalists after he relieved Jalang’o of his duties pertaining to the national team and elite performances. He is expected back on Friday.

“KRU have the mandate to make the decisions to the best interest of the team and they will decide on who takes the team forward,” Steve Sewe, the Team Manager, said on the coaching circus that sucked in Conditioning and Fitness coach, New Zealander, Chris Brown.

The team will break for camp with Friday expected to link up with the team for preparations for the June Sevens Rugby World Cup in Russia.

“The IRB is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work, and it takes a great attitude in the players, we are glad because of the young team and the experienced people for making us shine,” skipper, Andrew Amonde.

William Ambaka, who was voted in the World Series Dream Team following the conclusion of the London 7s where Kenya finished fourth, was elated but decried the failure to win the Main Cup in at least one of the tournaments.

“I never expected to be chosen, but I’m glad, hard work always pays but we would have one at least one of the series we came close. That was my regret,” the winger who was converted by Friday from a forward.

Ambaka made it the first ever Dream Team following the conclusion of the 2012/2013 competition that features players from six different nations and three continents with two New Zealanders, a Samoan, a South African, a Fijian, a Kenyan and an Englishman

“Friday has made us who we are today, we couldn’t do without him,” Ambaka said in support of Friday who led Kenya to her best ever performance at the World Series, bagging 99 points to finish fifth.

The tally was one short of the target of 100 and Kenya would have attained their aim had they beaten hosts England during the third place –lay off last Sunday.

– Report by Kang’ethe Njoroge

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