NAIROBI, Kenya, November 28 – Newly appointed Kenya Sevens head coach Paul Treu, is targeting for a quarter final Main Cup slot when his charges open their second leg World Sevens Series, Dubai 7s against Portugal at 8:46am on Friday.
Treu who retained Andrew Amonde as captain, said the Dubai showdown will not be easy and for the first time, he will change the style of play and the question is will the new era get off to flying start?
His moment of truth comes Friday when he brings in his prowess to the team that has never won a Main Cup in a HSBC World Series.
“We have more experienced players the likes of captain Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera, Biko Adema, Patrice Agunda among others who I will be depending on as they blend with the young players.
“I called up Leonard Mugaisi because he is one of the quickest players and having named the man of the match in the last Safari 7s, we would like him to score tries like Billy Odhiambo,” the coach who guided Spring Boks to overall victory in the 2008/2009 HSBC Sevens World Series explained before the team left for the showdown.
“But I think we will not see a lot of him in the first tournament because obviously we will start with experienced players, about Humprey Mulama, he was selected because of his good defensive attribute and his tackling is very solid so it’s an opportunity for them to shine.
“We want to taste other teams and see if they can stop my playmaker Collins Injera since part of my game plan will be attacking because I want to score more tries as possible,” he stated.
Amonde said the team has been facing a challenge getting to Treu’s game plan, because everything has been turned to be new to them.
“It’s not going to be easy playing new tactics, I know it will be hard but we will be able to play to our potential and get good results to make everybody proud.
“We are well prepared to face New Zealand, they are just like any other team but it will not be easy playing against them with the new team,” the captain expressed.
Kenya who will miss the services of key players Billy Odhiambo, Sydney Ashioya, and Oscar Ouma will have to depend on Biko Adema to solidify the defense as Patrice Agunda and Felix Ayange will be the suppliers at the center to Horace Otieno and vice captain Collins Injera who will be depended for the tries.
The team started the first round at the Gold Coast 7s on a wrong footing, failing to make the Main Cup quarters and eventually losing to Fiji in the plate final.
After playing Portugal in the first match, the boys will then square it out with France at 1.16pm before rounding up their preliminary match against a resilient New Zealand at 6.16pm.
Title sponsors Kenya Airways through their Sponsorship and Promotions Manager Georgina Ndawa, challenged the former South African tactician to deliver a trophy in one of the three upcoming series.
“We are very optimistic about his performance because he is one of the best coaches in the world, the team is ready for him and the lucky thing is that he has a disciplined team that is ready to deliver.
“So he is up for the challenge, we as sponsors we have paid all our dues we are waiting for him to perform since they cant say they now have money.
“The bonus structure has not changed, its Sh63m (USD 724140.90) so if they win all of It is theirs,” the sponsorship manager told Capital sport.
Ndawa confirmed the national carrier has renewed their partnership with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) for the next three years.
“We still support the team because of the project Rio, we have signed a contract with KRU, so far we have released Sh40m (USD459772) to pay the players for the next six months and the wrangles that were going on is because we were negotiating the additional salary of the new coach and technical bench which was extra added expenses, but that is done now they have the money,” she confirmed.