, NAIROBI, May 14 – National sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba has made four changes to the team ahead of the final two International Rugby Board (IRB) legs in London and Edinburgh.
Nato Simiyu, Leon Adongo, Joshua Gathumbi and Allan Makaka all make a return to the side after long break.
The team will however be missing skipper Humphrey Kayange, Innocent Simiyu, Collins Injera and Peter Ocholla who will be missing because of injury, work or school commitments.
Nyikuli and Lavin who played in just one tournament each in the last round are in the team while former skipper Simiyu was named as a non travelling reserve and will only take part in the Edinburgh leg.
“We have players who were committed either with work or school at the start of the season and they said they would be ready now as they would be available and we have given them a chance. Having a big squad, we also want to expose everyone ahead of the qualifiers and ultimately the World Cup,” he said.
Despite the changes, skipper Dennis Mwanja remains confident that they will attain their target of eight points.
“A team is not built on names but on teamwork and coordination. I can put my stake on us making the quarterfinals in the last two rounds and we look forward to finishing off what we started. I am happy that Makaka is back in the team, so is Lavin Asego and am looking forward to playing with George Mbaye who has been very impressive in training,” said Mwanja.
Ayimba said the team will still go for four points per round adding that they will have to be satisfied with finishing fifth this season as fourth placed Samoa have a huge lead.
“Its highly unlikely because there is 30 points between us the fourth placed team which means that we would have to win both tournaments and they don’t get any points. We are talking about Samoa so that is almost impossible,” he observed.
Team manager Felix Ochieng said that the team’s long term goal will be to make the main cup quarterfinals in next year’s World Cup.
“ If we make the main cup quarters, then we shall gave gotten automatic qualification to the next World Cup which will be a step up and will give us fresh impetus in the next four years,” he said.
Kenya was drawn against Samoa, Russia and Scotland in the London tournament while in Edinburgh, they will face France, Moldova and Fiji in pool D.
Dennis Mwanja, Leon Adongo, Allan Makaka, George Mbaye, Brian Nyikuli, Lavin Asego, Nato Simiyu, Naftali Bondo, Biko Adema, Allan Onyango, Horace Otieno, Joshua Gathumbi.