NAIROBI, Kenya, October 6 – Nakuru RFC back row Martin Owila’s dream of donning the Kenyan jersey in the HSBC Sevens World Series is almost coming true after he replaced injured Cyprian Kuto for this season’s opener in Gold Coast.
Kuto who turns up for Strathmore Leos was dropped from the squad after picking an injury during their training camp in South Africa, forcing head coach Paul Treu to call-up Owila who featured for Morans at the 19th Safaricom Sevens.
Owila who missed out on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games for lack of travelling papers in August, linked up with the rest of the squad Monday ahead of their departure to Australia for the tournament that run this weekend at Cbus Super Stadium.
The Wanyore eighth man joins teenager Alex Olaba, Homeboyz trio of Michael Wanjala ‘junior’ Bush Mwale and Augustine Lugonzo, KCB’s forward Jacob Ojee and Oliver Mang’eni for their first appearance in the IRB circuit.
“It’s not only just a dream come true but I’m happy to have grown in the game. I started my career in Kisumu RFC in 2007 and now after a year in Nakuru I’ve won the Kenya Cup, I’m really proud of that achievement.
“Hard work in training and in the games helped me earn a place in the 15s team for the Vodacom Cup where I gained a lot of exposure. It’s something that everyone can achieve because it’s all about the passion, game plan, obeying coaches and captain,” Owila told Capital Sport after being named in the Kenyan side, Moran in this year’s Safari7s.
Owila was in the national 15s team that crashed out of the 2015 World Cup qualifiers in June after losing 27-10 to Zimbabwe in their last match at the Confederation of African Rugby Division 1 A championship in Madagascar.
Kenya will battle it out with Commonwealth champions South Africa, Wales and new entrants American Samoa in pool B.