NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – The national rugby sevens team has been grouped in Pool B of the Tangier Sevens with Algeria, AR Tangier and Western South Ovalie Sevens.Fifteen other teams will feature in the tournament including International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series leaders South Africa, France and Tunisia.
The Springboks are top seeds and are in Pool A with Committee of Languedoc, COC Casablanca and hosts Morocco.
Kenya coach Benjamin Ayimba is taking a host of second string players to assess the depth at his disposal ahead of the London and Edinburgh legs of the IRB sevens circuit.
Brian Nyikuli, George Mbaye and Charles Kanyi are some of the players itching to prove their worth after missing out on the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai and the subsequent IRB legs in Hong Kong and Adelaide.
Peter Ocholla who missed most of last season with a knee injury is keen to rediscover his mercurial form while Joshua Gathumbi and Charles Kanyi will be battling for the scrumhalf berth.
Mean Machine forward Wilson Kopondo will also be under the microscope with Ayimba stating during the team naming that the youngster has to refine some of his skills ahead if the British tour.
Leon Adongo, who was one of the standout players in the Bamburi Super Series and Impala flier Naftali Bondo will provide the gas out wide.
For the first time in the history of rugby union, three teams of Magreb origin(Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) will take part in the same tournament.
The tournament has also been picked out by the African Confederation of Rugby (CAR) as a vehicle to develop sevens rugby on the continent with the aim of getting the sport into the 2016 Olympics.
With two major tournaments already taking place in Lusaka and Nairobi (Safari Sevens), creating an African circuit is also on the agenda as well as another IRB leg.
Meanwhile the national 15s team that will head into battle in the perennial Elgon Cup against Uganda will be named on Thursday by coach Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno.
Sixty players turned out for the squad trials on Sunday at the Impala club last Friday.
Vincent Mose, Brian Otieno, Joshua Gathumbi, George Mbaye, Leon Adongo, Nato Simiyu, Maurice Mbai, Wilson Kopondo, Peter Ocholla, Brian Nyikuli, Charles Kanyi, Naftali Bondo.
Technical Bench: Benjamin Ayimba (coach), Gerald Omondi (Physio), Newton Ongalo (Team manager)