NAIROBI, Kenya, June 18 – Leon Adongo has been recalled to the national sevens side for this weekends’s Tusker Safari Sevens at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds.
The Kenya Harlequins winger who has been a national squad member since 2006 has been called up alongside former captain Innocent Simiyu who missed out on the last two legs of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series.
“Adongo has been with us for a while. He hasn’t played a lot of sevens due to unavoidable circumstances but we are confident he will be able to step up,” said Ochieng.
Brian Nyikuli, Victor Oduor and George Mbaye have been drafted in to the Chairman’s select side which will be captained by Nyikuli.
Kenya under 20 stars Collins Omae and Kennedy Isindu have been rewarded for their eye catching performances in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT).by being selected for Kenya’s second team Shujaa.
“None of this teams are going to be complacent. We (coaching staff) can assure you that we are taking all the participating teams seriously because they are also here to win,” said Ochieng who was a member of the national side when Kenya won the inaugural Safari Sevens.
Head coach Benjamin Ayimba said that he opted to spread some of his top players amongst the three teams so as to even out the strength he has at his disposal.
“If you look across the three times there are some guys who have had much more game time playing with guys who haven’t featured that much in the series so that we can get that balance,” said Ayimba.
Kenya is in Pool A with South African outfit Western Province Raiders, Japan and Tanzania.
“It’s a pool we are taking quite seriously because everyone is coming to beat us so we cannot afford any slip ups,” said Ayimba who will at his third Tusker Safari Sevens as coach.
“Playing in the IRB circuit makes it much harder because everyone will want to beat us making it much better for them,” he added.
Former champions Samoa, France and Uganda make up Pool B, Pool C has Emerging Boks, Samurai and Morocco and Pool D has Zimbabwe, Bristol University select, Zambia and University of Grenoble.
Preparations for the tournament gathered pace on Thursday with the RFUEA grounds getting its final spruce ups before the tournament kicks off on Friday with the schools and veterans competitions.
Humphrey Kayange (captain), Allan Onyango, Leon Adongo, Benedict Nyambu Gibson Weru, Horace Otieno, Lavin Asego, Sidney Ashioya, Collins Injera, Innocent Simiyu
Graham Kombo, Kennedy Isindu, Malik Ndemi, Maurice Mbai, Oscar Ouma, Moses Mwole, Joseph Abala, Collins Omae, Peter Kepha, Alex Mutune, Kevin Wambua, Benjamin Otieno
Brian Nyikuli (captain), Victor Oduor, George Mbaye, Gary Cullin, Nato Simiyu, Naftali Bondo, Vincent Mose, Samuel Wefwafwa, Charles Kanyi