Rugby Rugby

Simiyu banks on Safland 7s ahead of debut season

Kenya 7s coach Innocent Namcos Simiyu.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
Kenya 7s coach Innocent Namcos Simiyu.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3- New Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu is banking on experience from the Safland Sevens as he prepares for his debut season as head coach following his appointment to the hot seat last month.

The Kenya Rugby Union confirmed Kenya will participate in the tournament to be held in the Namibian city of Swakopmund between November 12 and 13.

Defending champions South Africa, USA, Germany, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Nigeria have all confirmed participation.

“It comes at a very good time for us because it is just two weeks before the season formally kicks off. It will be a good platform to test the players, see how far we have come in terms of preparation and look into what to improve ahead of the new season,” Simiyu who has taken the team through training in the past two weeks said.

The 33-year old, former 15s and 7s skipper says he has been impressed with what he has seen in training, though he admits there is still so much work to be done before the season opening leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai from December 2.

“It has been all about checking the standards of the players called up. There is some progress but work still has to be done because most of them are coming from off season. We have been improving daily though,” Simiyu offered.

The coach believes the Namibia tournament will help him select the final squad while underlining some of the things he will seek to implement as he starts his two-year reign.

“We have to look at winning and keeping possession, a playing pattern that we will seek to implement, scoring as well and the strength and conditioning. These are the major things we want to see from Namibia,” the tactician added.

Meanwhile, Simiyu is not in a hurry to pick his assistant with some quarters pointing to Humphrey Kayange as the possible figure to work alongside the new coach.

Simiyu has told Capital Sport that he will name his second in command at an opportune time, ruling out the possibility of that happening before the Dubai Sevens.

Kenya Sevens Provisional Training Squad;

Andrew Amonde (KCB, Captain), Dan Sikuta, Aluda Beda, Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Derrick Mayar, Ian Minjire, Samuel Oliech (Resolution Impala Saracens), Elton Isiaho, Alex Olaba (Strathmore Leos), Oscar Ouma, Nelson Oyoo (Top Fry Nakuru), Willy Ambaka, Eden Agero, Frank Wanyama (Kenya Harlequin), Collins Injera, Billy Odhiambo, Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Martin Owilla, Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Alvine Otieno, Leonard Mugaisi, Bush Mwale, Cyprian Kuto, Oscar Ayodi, Augustine Lugonzo (Menengai Cream Homeboyz)