NAIROBI, November 3 – National sevens rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba is delighted with the way his team performed at the just concluded Africa Zone Rugby World Cup qualifiers in Tunisia.
Kenya won the tourney to book a place in next year’s World Cup and Ayimba said that the team’s management will now focus on refining the team’s on field performance ahead of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Series which starts later this month.
“You don’t change what is working, were just going to polish what we have been doing and see how best we can embark on to face the opposition that we are going to meet in the series,” said Ayimba.
Ayimba also said that any changes if need be to the team will depend on the form of any of the players in training.
“We will definitely monitoring the players’ form over the coming days but currently we don’t plan on making any changes,” he observed.
Ayimba was speaking after his team’s arrival from Tunisia on Monday afternoon where the national team underlined their status as the top sevens nation in the continent outside South Africa who qualified automatically for the 2009 World Cup.
National captain Humphrey Khayange said that the team is on a high after the win and are looking forward to the upcoming series.
“It’s a morale booster. We are really looking forward to the next three weeks of preparation before Dubai, set new goals because Dubai will be used to determine the seeds for the World Cup so we have to maintain our status as one of the status and obtain a good berth in the draw,” he said.
Khayange added that the team’s positive mindset was affected by the changes made to the draw.
“By the time we arrived in Tunis, most of the other teams hadn’t arrived, so we knew it would happen and expected to be pooled with any team,” said Khayange.
Kenya beat Zimbabwe in the final 26-14 following an impressive 22-12 victory over hosts Tunisia who also qualified for the World Cup after beating Uganda in the third place play off.
Next year’s showpiece in Dubai will be Kenya’s third World Cup with 23 other countries taking part
They include World champions Fiji, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Australia, France, Scotland, Argentina (automatic qualifiers), host Union Arabian Gulf and regional qualifiers Uruguay (South America), Portugal, Wales, Georgia, Ireland, Italy (Europe), Samoa, Tonga (Oceania), Japan, Hong Kong (Asia), USA, Canada (North America), Zimbabwe and Tunisia (Africa).