NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – All-time World Series top try scorer Collins Injera has made a return to the national sevens team after being included in a 13-man squad that will do duty at the Wellington and Sydney legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Head coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu said that the World Rugby has given a provision of an extra man from the usual 12 if the legs are far away.
Joining Injera for the comeback are Sammy Oliech and Oscar Ouma who replace fly-half Dawin Mukidza, Frank Wanyama and Martin Owila from the squad that competed in the opening two legs at Dubai and Cape Town.
“We believe we picked the best team who will give us the best and I’m impressed with the returning of the three players who will bring experience and leadership. We are happy with their conditions as well, but Oscar (Ouma) is at 80 percent and we will manage how he plays in the two legs,” Simiyu said when unveiling the traveling party on Wednesday.
With the team struggling to convert their tries, Simiyu said a kicking skills coach will be appointed after the Wellington and Sydney tours.
“We have worked on reception of kick off because it was the problem in the first two legs. Kickers have been putting extra work because it is another critical area of the sport we have been lacking. Against Fiji in Dubai we would have won had we converted,” Simiyu said.
“The kickers have been working on extra sessions and we should be looking at better conversion rates in Wellington and Sydney.”
Captain Andrew Amonde welcomed the return of the trio, saying they will bring a lot of experience as they seek to improve the 12 points they collected at Cape Town Sevens after losing 21-33 to Fiji in the fifth place play-off.
“The return of the three great players will make us better going into the next two legs and hopefully we will do better,” Amonde stated.
Kenya Rugby Union Director Ian Mugambi confirmed that the contracts are ready and will be handed to the players when the team returns from the two legs.
Meanwhile, Eric Ogweno has been appointed the new Team Manager replacing Newton Ong’alo.
The team will depart on Sunday for New Zealand ahead of the Wellington 7s that kicks-off on the weekend of January 28 then travel to Australia for the Sydney 7s scheduled for February 4 and 5.
Team to Wellington and Sydney:
Andrew Amonde, Willy Ambaka, Oscar Ouma, Dan Sikuta, Bush Mwale, Brian Tanga, Leonard Mugaisi, Eden Agero, Augustine Lugonzo, Sammy Oliech, Billy Odhiambo, Collins Injera, Nelson Oyoo.