NAIROBI, Kenya, November 24 – Three changes have been made to the national sevens team for the first two rounds of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens Series in Dubai and George.Kenya coach Benjamin Ayimba has recalled former captain Innocent Simiyu, Leon Adongo and Wilson Kopondo in place of Biko Adema, Allan Onyango and Ben Nyambu who featured in the last tour of the United Kingdom.
“It’s a team of very dependable guys because they have experienced the IRB series for the last three seasons so we expect to have one of the most experienced sides this time around,” said Ayimba who named the team on Tuesday.
Ayimba who is entering his fourth season as national coach said that the team have been working on refining their play in training which he hopes will pay dividends when the season gets underway.
“We have just improved what we have been working on in the past as everything was working well. Its just a matter of increasing the speed in our patterns of play and dispensing it in a clinical manner,” said Ayimba.
The former Impala captain added that he would like to see his charges improve their effiency in finishing and working on stealing opposition ball as much as possible.
Humphrey Kayange who led the team to a sixth place finish last season will continue to captain the side who believes his side have a lot to live up to.
“We have to play better than we did last season because we will be by judged by that. We are preparing mentally and physically for Dubai where we hope to clinch the main cup,” said Kayange.
In Dubai, Kenya will reignite hostilities with their old enemy England in Pool C which also has England and Russia.
“All these teams are very physical so we have to match them there. If we do that we will be at an advantage because we have speed on the wings,” said Kayange
He said that defending series champions South Africa, France and Zimbabwe will be a different kettle of fish in George because of their abundant speed.
Humphrey Kayange (captain), Victor Oduor, Collins Injera, Horace Otieno, Lavin Asego (Mwamba), Gibson Weru (vice captain, Nakuru RFC), Sidney Ashioya (Kenya Harlequin FC), Brian Nyikuli (Impala), Innocent Simiyu(Impala), Charles Kanyi (Nondies), Wilson Kopondo (Mean Machine), Leon Adongo (Kenya Harlequins)