NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Injury has ruled out experienced Philadelphia Olando out of the invitational tournament at the final leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Clermont-Ferrand, France, where Kenya will be making her maiden appearance.
Olando, who plays for KCB RFC and Kenya Harlequin’s Linet Moraa, were not part of the squad named Thursday by head coach Mike Shamiah ahead of the tournament that take place on the weekend of May 28 and 29.
The two are the only changes made by Shamiah from the squad that lifted Bowl title at last month’s Hong Kong Sevens with Mwamba RFC’s Sinaida Aura returning from injury and debutant Grace Adhiambo taking their places.
“Sinaida returns for the first time since the Olympic qualifiers. She has had bad luck with injury but she is finally in good shape and this is an opportunity for her to prove her worth once again on the big stage.
“Grace has shown a lot of potential and has been knocking on the doors. This is an opportunity for her to get exposure,” Shamiah underscored.
Kenya, who will use the tournament as part of their Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games preparations, are drawn in a tough Pool A against England, Spain and USA with Shamiah disclosing they are out to get the exposure.
“Like I have said before, playing a leg of the series is great exposure for the team. I think we will be able to get taste of what the competition will be like at the Olympics. We will also be able to feel the intensity and know what it takes to perform at this level.”
Kenya Lionesses squad;
Stacey Awuor, Janet Owino, Doreen Remour, Grace Adhiambo, Celestine Masinde, Cynthia Camilla Atieno, Sinaida Aura, Sheila Chajira, Irene Otieno, Rachel Mbogo, Kate Abilla (captain)
Management: Mike Shamiah (Head Coach), Ben Mahinda (Physio), Sarah Otieno (Team Manager).