NAIROBI, Kenya, November 22 – Homeboyz RFC duo of Leonard Mugaisi and Humprey Mulama are the debutants in the national team for the Port Elizabeth and Dubai 7s that was unveiled on Friday by new head coach Paul Treu.
The former South African tactician retained Andrew Amonde and Collins Injera as the captain and vice-captain of his first squad as expectations among local rugby enthusiasts soar in his bid to improve Kenya’s performance during the second leg of the Sevens World Series.
Speaking while naming the 12 man squad, Treu, said his target was to reach the Main Cup quarters.
“It was difficult to take over the team while the season had already started with the Gold Coast, when we came here our first target was to improve the conditioning and fitness level of the players.
“Nonetheless in the past two weeks we have done credible work, guys are really working hard to make sure they are up to speed and from the things we have introduced into the team from technical and conditioning perspective, what is just left is to implement them.
“We will take one game at a time and the team is not yet ready, a lot of training will be done in Dubai next week,” Treu stated.
“There are a lot of challenges for players, but we want to settle and keep the guys calm as we aim to have the first game under our belt.
“We have more experienced players in the team, the likes of captain Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera and Biko Adema among others, they will have to keep this team together because we have alot of faith in the youngsters and that’s why we have given them opportunity to showcase their talent,” he continued.
Treu who has been with the team for two weeks tipped he will change the format of play to seek winning ways.
“We have been playing in a certain formant for a long time and it has given us nothing, so for me I will get the mixture of right players and face other teams head on,” the tactician who aims to qualify for the 2016 Olympics concluded.
Amonde lauded his coach for giving him the arm-band once again, saying the boys have faith in him.
“I know we will perform very well under the hands of Treu, since he is a professional coach who has won many titles in the game of rugby.
“We as players are ready for the tournament and will approach the match with a lot of seriousness to better our last performance,” the captain said.
Speaking at the same function, Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee, said the International Rugby Board (IRB) is considering to include Safaricom Sevens to their calendar.
“We displayed a video to IRB and I want to assure this is the closest Kenya has been, a decision will be made next year during the Safaricom 7s.
“IRB has shown interest in Port Elizabeth and Nairobi combining to form one leg of the World Series,” the chairman who arrived on Thursday from IRB congress meeting assured.
The team leaves on Sunday and will conduct training sessions on Monday and Tuesday in Dubai before resting for two days, waiting for the game that will run on the weekend of November 29 and 30.
The boys, who are pooled in Group A, will face Portugal in their opener before taking on defending champions New Zealand and France.
The Port Elizabeth leg will be held on the weekend of December 7 and 8.
Meanwhile, the national Women’s 7s team was also named by coach Kevin Wambua.
They leave on Monday to participate in the Dubai International Sevens tournament that will run concurrently with the World Series.
Kenya squad to Dubai
Andrew Amonde (Captain), Collins Injera (Vice Captain), Patrice Agunda, Philip Wamae, Horace Otieno, Humphrey Mulama, Felix Ayange, Michael Wanjala, Biko Adema, Eden Agero, Oscar Ayodi, Leonard Mugaisi
Management: Paul Treu (Head Coach), Felix Ochieng (Assistant Coach), Vuyo Zangqa (Attack Coach), Graham Bentz (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Lameck Bogonko (Physio), Steven Sewe (Team Manager)