NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Victor Sudi and Brian Nyikuli have been recalled to the national rugby sevens squad for the London and Edinburgh legs of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series.Biko Adema is also back in the side after missing the tour to Hong Kong and Australia due to studies while Sudi is poised to feature in the circuit for the first time this season.
“This is the first time we are taking a strong team to the last legs. Usually our squad is depleted at this time of the season which affects our performance,” said Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) Sevens director Sasha Mutai who named the team.
Mutai said that he expects the inclusion of Nyikuli and Sudi will strengthen the squad due to the experience both have gathered having been part of the set for a long time.
“I expect us (Kenya) to reach at least one of the finals. We hope to leap frog New Zealand who are a spot above us by six points,” said Mutai.
Benjamin Ayimba’s side is currently sixth on the IRB standings with 58 points while the Kiwis are fifth with 64 points.
Mutai believes that the performance of the season and their form has put their noses infront of even the professional sides on the circuit.
“This is the fittest Kenyan side ever. There even much fitter than some of the professionals they face,” said Sasha.
“Playing six high intensity games over two weekends and then going full blast for twenty minutes in a final shows how far we have come in terms of conditioning,” he added.
Collins Injera currently leads the try scorers log with 30 touchdowns which makes him third on the season points table with 150 points so far.
His Mwamba club mate Lavin Asego is fifth on the point table with 135 points.
Meanwhile, team sponsors Virgin Atlantic and Orange national team boosted KRFU’s development kitty with the unveiling of the official rugby fans collection comprising of Kenya replica jerseys, polo and T-shirts.
“With this new initiative, we want to bring Kenya national rugby heroes closer to all Kenyans. We all have witnessed your performances, and you are making all of us proud of our country. This is why we wanted all Kenyans to be in touch with you, able to show you their appreciation and support, and to share in your success,” said Telkom Kenya Devices manger Bob Asiyo.
The collection will be on sale exclusively at all Orange Customers Experience Centres and all proceeds will go into the development kitty to cater for the rising cost of development activities associated with the growing popularity of rugby in the country.
Telkom Kenya revealed that it was about to launch two new services aiming at keeping Kenyans in touch with their rugby heroes: an SMS offer enabling fans to access the Kenya Team results in London and Edinburgh through Orange mobile at a one off rate of Kshs. 99 and a rugby blog for players to be able to communicate with their fans.
Humphrey Kayange, Gibson Weru, Victor Oduor, Allan Onyango, Victor Sudi, Sidney Ashioya, Benedict Nyambu, Biko Adema, Brian Nyikuli, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Horace Otieno.