NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – Seasoned players Dennis Ombachi and Eden Agero who captained the team for the opening two rounds have been dropped as Kenya Sevens head coach Paul Murunga on Wednesday named a second-string squad for the Hamilton and Sydney 7s legs.
KCB’s Jacob Ojee will don the armband assisted by Mike Wanjala while William Reeve and Eliakim Kichoi are amond the debutants.
Others in the squad are; Mark Wandeto, Harold Anduvate, Brian Wandera, Cyprian Kuto, Vincent Onyala, Brian Wahinya, Daniel Taabu, Johnstone Olindi and Bush Mwale.
Murunga who started on a sour note on his first assignment as head coach said he is looking forward to having an improved outing.
“This is a very exciting side looking forward to see how they play, the experienced players will guide the young players,” Murunga said.
Kenya will face France, South Africa and Scotland in Pool C and Murunga is confident of getting out of the group.
“We have already exposed five of the players into World Series last two legs, we are now having more. we played twice against France losing margins were small, they were not much better we just had more mistakes in defense, we have been able to fix that, and we hope to beat them.
“In Sevens game it’s possible to beat everyone depending on preparations and if boys are psyched enough and if we are able to get our patterns correct, we will have much faster and much skillful team this leg than any other leg. As a coach we have worked on defense, attack is looking good so it’s up to me to build a new breed of players,” Murunga declared.
Meanwhile, Kenya Rugby Union boss Richard Omwela confirmed Sylvia Kamau has been given mandate as CEO from January 1 to run for one year, taking over from Ronald Bukusi who resigned last year.
Omwela commented on the players contract that has led to the go slow of senior players saying the Union cannot commit on their demands since they have no sponsor.
“We have been having issues with senior players of the sevens. As a result of shielding the sponsors logo last season in London, we have had serious convos, the effects of that was that sponsors stayed away, a situation that has brought rugby back,” Omwela stated.
“As a result of that we told playing unit we don’t have funds to run salaries, we told them what we cannot afford, they said no want same salary, the conversation has been difficult, has been tough negotiating. There’s no point of giving contract that we will default.”
“It may be a good thing, and a bad thing we must have people who are able to step up and play for the country, we are unhappy they were not able to renew contracts, but we thank them for the services. We are not closing the door to further discussions, as soon as a sponsor comes through, we can afford more money. We think that the young team has potential to come of age and deliver results. We are fully behind the squad named today.”
Kenya Sevens squad for Hamilton, Sydney 7s
Jacob Ojee (Captain), Mike Wanjala (Asst captain), William Reeve, Mark Wandeto, Harold Anduvate, Brian Wandera, Cyprian Kuto, Vincent Onyala, Brian Wahinya, Daniel Taabu Johnstone Olindi, Bush Mwale, Eliakim Kichoi.