NAIROBI, Kenya, February 26 – Innocent Simiyu is chomping at the bit after being recalled to the national team for next month’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.The former Kenya captain is yet to feature in this season’s International Rugby Board (IRB) sevens series but is optimistic that his current form will help the side fulfill their mission of winning sevens rugby’s most coveted title.
“My form is good. I played in the world cup qualifiers and been training with the team and for me it’s a feat to be back,” said the Impala utility back.
Simiyu who has also featured for the 15s team on a number of occasions views his inclusion in the team as an ongoing process geared towards the team’s main goal.
“For me its just a continuity of the task and the challenges ahead for the team and I’m just viewing it as a simple call up to the team,” said Simiyu.
Mean Machine lock Wilson Kopondo who made his international debut in Dubai last year expressed his delight to be part of the World Cup squad.
“I’m very honoured to be amongst them. It’s the world cup, the crème de la crème. Not many guys get to make it so I’m honoured,” said Kopondo.
The 23 year old acknowledged the importance of the task at hand and believes that will help Kenya raise its game.
“There’s always pressure to perform. The stakes are high because the entire world is looking at you,” said Kopondo.
“If we go by how we have been training, we should be set for the tournament. We are in a good position to do well and even go all the way so things are looking good,” he added.
Both players were speaking at a ceremony on Thursday where the team received a Sh4 million sponsorship package from telecommunications company Telkom Kenya.
“This sponsorship will enable the team to enjoy the best conditions in which to perform at their peak, by enabling them to focus on what they need to and rewarding them for the hard work they put to make all of us proud of Kenya,” said Telkom Kenya CEO Dominique Saint-Jean.
Meanwhile, Richard Omwela was re-elected as the chairman of the Kenya Rugby Football Union.
The incumbent polled 12 votes against Mwangi Muthee who garnered six during the KRFU’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground.
Three directors – Innocent Moturi, Willy Ombisi and Gordon Anampiu – also retained their posts. Paul Okong’o, the Kisumu RFC secretary who was proposed by Mwamba got eight votes.
In accepting defeat, Muthee urged the KRFU to pay attention to Mombasa and Western Kenya who have been neglected.
Omwela promised to see through a KRFU strategic plan in which there are plans to decentralise the rugby administration to the provinces.
Three clubs – Bungoma, Blak Blad and Kisumu RFC’s – were barred from voting because they had not participated in the stipulated number of matches or tournaments.
Kenya Polytechnic were also barred on a technicality because they have not been affiliated to the KRFU.