NAIROBI, Kenya, September 29 – After failing to impress at the 19th Safaricom Sevens over the weekend, the national 7s team will depart on Thursday for a five day camp in South Africa before connecting to Australia to take part in the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series opener in Gold Coast.
Head coach Paul Treu is expected to name his travelling party on Wednesday that will have to do without eight seasoned players led by vice captain and Kenyan record try scorer Collins Injera.
Others ruled out are; Mwamba trio of Dennis Ombachi, Horace Otieno and Dan Sikuta, Strathmore Leos Billy Odhiambo, Fly-half Biko Adema, Lunch Bar Quins’ Patrice Agunda, Eden Agero, Tony Awour as well as Michael Wanjala after failing to apply for visas due to a strike.
Despite surrendering the Safaricom 7s title to invitational side Welsh Warriors and settle for the Plate, the South African will be looking to work on their line outs and defence among other mistakes they identified at the three-day tournament held at Kasarani Stadium.
“The young players displayed a good performance from the tournament having assembled the team in a short notice. They are learning well and we expected them to be a bit nervous, these guys put their bodies on the line. We wanted to give them opportunity to make mistakes so that they can learn from it because when we go for Gold Coast we want to open a new page.
“We have the opportunity to correct our errors that we observed over the weekend whereby we noticed when guys get tired they forget to think, we need to work on our endurance. There is a lot of potential from the team that we need to build on,” Treu stated.
Commenting on the draw where Kenya is in Pool A against South Africa, Wales and new comers American Samoa for the October 11 and 12 showdown, Treu said their aim is to top the pool so as to avoid meeting the top teams.
“Last season we performed badly because we played the number one teams in the quarters every single time, either New Zealand, South Africa or Fiji and to avoid this we need to start beating those top teams and top the pools, it will give us a better chance to progress to the semi finals.
“Since we have in-experienced squad, our first target is to get over our first game against America Samoa because we don’t know what to expect and how our players will react, playing in front of thousands of people. We hope to get out our nerves that will give us more confidence when we face Wales in the second match,” he added.
On the regular players who were dropped from the squad, Treu said, “Everything is always a risk and there is no guarantee if we do take our most experienced players we will win the tournament so the odds are exactly the same, every person in this life wants opportunity and now we are opening the door.
“From this point forward everything will be about performance, we will step up in reviewing and assessing the players performance in the field and on behalf of the technical bench we have done our best to make sure the players are up to speed and understand what they are needed to execute, it’s going to be tough but there is no excuse for us not to go there and get the performance that we desire.”
“There is a lot of pressure on us so we want to go out there and see if we can win a tournament.”