NAIROBI, Kenya, October 2 – New Zealand side Metro Auckland players are still in the country four days after the end of Safaricom 7s amidst claims Nairobi night life captivated them to the extent they missed their flight out.
Kenya Rugby Union boss Mwangi Muthee confirmed to Capital Sport Thursday 11 players from one of the 13 invited international teams for the 19th edition of the event are still holed up in the capital.
“Yes they are still in Nairobi and it’s very unfortunate they are stranded. But it’s not the Union’s fault because we gave every team return tickets.
“All teams were supposed to leave on Sunday and that’s what the rest did except the New Zealand boys who wanted to enjoy Nairobi after their coach, physio and one player left on Sunday,” Muthee told.
He added, “We cannot neglect them even though it’s very costly to cater the team who are in a five star hotel in Nairobi and bearing its summer time in Auckland, it’s difficult to get flights since they were to connect via Dubai.
“The Union is working round the clock to ensure the players depart tonight because we could not go against the travel agents itinerary,” he explained.
One of the players, former All Blacks Sevens star Rocky Khan who captained the Metro, posted a tweet to the IRB Sevens and Emirates Airlines, pleading for help.
“Kenya Rugby Union flew us over here to play and now aren’t flying us back home to NZ,” he wrote. “Help?” the tweet read.
Luke Masirewa, Atu Masirewa and Mason Walker are other ex-All Blacks players in the squad with Kylem O’Donnell, Akira Mako, Samuel Franklin, Tain Lam, Phoenix Hunapo, Leif Schwenke, Adam McGarvey and Akulia Rokolisoa completing the line-up.
It is reported the New Zealanders patronised a popular night spot and enjoyed the night away, missing their check-out time to the airport in a ringing endorsement to Nairobi’s party scene.