NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – After the national 15s side failed to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup, 7s head coach Paul Treu, believes it’s their turn to give Kenyans something to smile about when they play at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the shorter version of the game.
As the team targets to improve on their 2010 performance where they were bundled out in the Main Cup quarter-finals by silver medallists Australia, Treu has made two changes from the seasoned HSBC Sevens World Series squad.
The South African has handed Nakuru RFC’s eighth man Martin Owila, fresh from the CAR Division 1A championship in Madagascar his debut while club mate loose forward Oscar Ouma, has been recalled to replace injured French based winger Willy Ambaka.
However, Treu said their preparation for the second appearance in the Club Games has been affected since five of his key charges former captain Humphrey Kayange, Collins Injera, Michael Agevi, skipper Andrew Amonde and hooker Patrice Agunda were away on duty with the15s team.
“Our preparation is definitely going to be challenging since some of our players were with the 15s team and obviously it’s a massive disappointed for the country because we didn’t qualify for the World Cup but the Commonwealth games is another opportunity to make our nation pride.
“We will give our players time to recover and join us on Friday before we depart on Sunday because we want to camp in Glasgow for one and half week before the tournament begins so that we can gel and acclimatize since we haven’t trained together as a team,” Treu told Capital Sport.
In Delhi, Kenya eased past Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa in the Group stages before falling 27-5 to Australia in the Main Cup quarter-finals.
Looking at Glasgow Shujaa are in a relatively easy Pool B consisting bronze medalist South Africa, Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago with Treu underlining his former employer as the biggest threat in the Group as he banks on bothers Kayange and Injera, Amonde, fly half Biko Adema as well as winger Horace Otieno who were part of the 2010 squad.
“We are not looking who we are going to face for now but we want to settle as quickly as possible. Obviously South Africa is going be our toughest opponents in the pool stages and like all other tournaments we just want to take a match at a time and hopefully to qualify for the finals.
“We are looking forward for the challenge since we know its going to be tough because we have not had the ideal preparation like we are used to in the circuit but the dynamic of being part of team Kenya is going to be interesting since it will be the first time for some of us to be part of the wide squad of the multi sport event,” the South African added.
True will be using the Club Games as part of preparation for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series starting October that will see the top four qualify for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sixteen teams including four-time winners and defending champions New Zealand will battle it out for gold in Glasgow on 26 and 27 this month.