NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – The Kenya Lionesses return to the Dubai Sevens looking to better their showing last season when they won the International Invitational Women’s category bowl title with a 12-10 win over the West Coast Vikings Ladies.
The side who were Africa’s sole representatives in the women’s rugby competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also finished second at the recent Africa Cup Women’s Sevens in Zimbabwe, falling to a narrow 17-21 loss to South Africa in the championship match.
Head Coach Kevin Wambua, speaking to Kenya Rugby after the side resumed training for their annual pilgrimage to Dubai, said;
“The plan, coming back from the month’s break is to get our players back in the right shape in terms of fitness and conditioning as well as incorporate skill set development such as passing, tackling and contact.”
Talking about the three new call ups to the Lionesses training squad in the form of Ashley Awuor, Sarah Oluche and Ann Njeri, Wambua said, “They are exciting players with potential and are part and parcel of our development plans. We will have our Conditioning Coach work with them specifically to improve their strength as I fine tune their skills and game understanding. They bring depth to the team and will give us more options and quality in future assignments.”
Commenting on his expectations of the Dubai tournament, Wambua said, “We want to generate continuity from our last assignment in Harare where we finished second. Dubai has been competitive over the years.
“We have seen most of the non-core world teams use it as a platform to develop their squads and catch World Rugby’s eye for an invitation to a leg of the Women’s Sevens World Series.”
“It will be important for us to get our patterns right and post some good results to catch the attention of World Rugby too.”
“My long term plan is to develop as many players as I can and ensure quality in terms of players and structure of play, and of course also try to get our girls into the 2018 Women’s Sevens World Series via the qualification tournament as well as the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018. It would be a big plus if we can qualify and post some good results there,” he concluded.
Kenya Lionesses Training Squad
1.Catherine Abillah 2.Philadelphia Olando 3.Doreen Remor 4.Celestine Masinde 5.Janet Owino 6.SInaida Aura 7.Irene Otieno 8.Sheila Chajira 9.Camilla Cynthia 10.Prisca Nyerere 11.Stacy Awour 12.Rachel Mbogo 13.Janet Okello 14.Linet Moraa 15.Grace Adhiambo 16.Sandra Kimokoti 17.Ann Njeri 18.Ashley Awuor 19.Sarah Oluchi.