Rugby Rugby

Minjire debuts in Shujaa squad for April tour

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Impala Saracens skipper Ian Minjire (right) makes a pass during a past Kenya Sevens training session at the RFUEA Grounds. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28- After impressing in Kenya’s conquest at the Victoria Sevens in Zimbabwe, Impala Saracens winger Ian Minjire has been included in the Shujaa squad that travels out for a bumper April calendar that includes the Commonwealth Games in between the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens.

Also included for the tour is Augustine Lugonzo, another top performer from the Victoria Sevens. This will however be the Homeboyz’s man third outing with the team having been part of the Hamilton and Sydney team.

“He (Lugonzo) played very well and has trained well with us for the whole season. His performance in Victoria was very impressive. He controlled the game very well and we thought with a long tour and a lot at stake it will be good to have his expertise in terms of game management,” head coach Innocent Simiyu said as he announced the squad on Wednesday.

He added; “Minjire’s inclusion is more of tactical. We believe in picking players when their tail is up and he has been training consistently. What sold us out his how he played in Victoria and based on our approach where we want to be better in kick off, He brings in that advantage.”

Shujaa will have to dig in deep as they will be out for the entire month of April.

The team will start off with the Hong Kong Sevens from April 6-8 before shifting attention to the Commonwealth games to be played five days later from April 13-15. From there, they will travel to the venue of their first ever Main Cup conquest in Singapore from April 28-29.

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu is confident that Minjire and Lugonzo add a new dimension to the team’s formation. He was speaking on march 28, 2018 as he unveiled the squad for the April tour. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We knew this was coming and we have prepared adequately for it. In terms of conditioning we have done a lot and the good thing is that between the Commonwealth Games and the Singapore Sevens, there is a good window for rest and recovery,” the tactician noted.

Erick Ombassa, Herman Humwa and Brian Tanga have been named as non-travelling reserves and Simiyu has hinted they might be called in for the Singapore Sevens.

“We will look at the conditions of the players in terms of fitness and maintaining freshness. If there will be need for change then definitely we will rotate the squads. We also want to have a stronger team for the rest of the season with the World Cup also coming,” Simiyu affirmed.

The squad to the three tournaments will be skippered by Nakuru RFC’s battering ram Oscar Ouma assisted by Sammy Oliech. Collins Injera who has blossomed in his new play-making role at scrum half has also been included in the team.

Shujaa squad to Hong Kong, Gold Coast and Singapore

Oscar Ouma (Captain), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru), Samuel Oliech, Ian Minjire  (Impala Saracens), Andrew Amonde, Arthur Owira (KCB), Willy Ambaka, Eden Agero (Kenya Harlequins), Daniel Sikuta (Kabras Sugar), Collins Injera, Billy Odhiambo (Mwamba), Augustine Lugonzo, Jeff Oluoch (Homeboyz).

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