Kenya to start on new slate


NAIROBI, Kenya, December 2- The return of Peter Ocholla and Edwin Shimenga will be under intense focus when Kenya kick off their 2010/2011 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens Series campaign in Dubai on Friday against hosts Arabian Gulf.
The return of Shimenga was the most eye catching of Benjamin Ayimba’s selection due to the veteran’s two year absence from the national set up.

Shimenga’s inclusion is a big boost towards Kenya’s chances of physically imposing themselves against the likes of defending series champions and Pool A rivals Samoa who they beat at the Commonwealth Games.

Collins Injera omission from the tour has been the talk of rugby clubhouses across the country. The Mwamba speedster has become a cult like figure in Kenya sport due to his jet heel pace and try scoring ability.

However, Ayimba will have no qualms of fielding Injera’s experienced club mate Horace Otieno or Kenya Harlequins’ Leon Adongo on the wing.

Another position that is under the microscope is flyhalf where Peter Ocholla is set to make his return.

Ocholla will be out to show that he can still ply his trade on the big stage as well as making the most of Lavin Asego’s absence.

Quins centre duo Patrice Agunda and David Ambunya will be hoping for a run out at the Sevens Stadium in order to translate their red hot National Sevens Circuit form to the sands of this desert oasis.

Gibson Weru, Brian Nyikuli and captain Humphrey Kayange bring loads of experience and their role will be crucial if the Safaricom Sevens champions are to go further than last year when they fell to New Zealand in the main cup quarter finals.

Kenya will face the Gulf at 11.26 am Kenyan time, then world champions Wales at 3.02pm and then wrap up their round robin stage against Samoa at 7.52 pm.

Kenya Squad:

Humphrey Kayange (captain), Gibson Weru, Brian Nyikuli, Edwin Shimenga, Horace Otieno, Leon Adongo, Patrice Agunda, David Ambunya, Andrew Amonde, Peter Ocholla, Wilson Kopondo, Ben Nyambu