“Big Wheels” and Amonde upbeat as Simiyu scratches head on squad to Sydney


Shujaa players locked in a prayer ritual before kick off in a past match.
(FILE)Shujaa players locked in a prayer ritual before kick off in a past match.

The Kenya Rugby Sevens technical bench is expected to name its squad this Wednesday ahead of the Sydney and Hamilton sevens set for 26-28 January.

The Innocent Simiyu charges are in Pool B against strong contenders France, Wales and Argentina.

In an interview with Citizen Digital,  key-man Andrew Amonde who is in contention for a spot in the team after a long layoff due to injury was enthusiastic Shujaa will flourish.

“I am hopeful we will record positive results in the coming two legs, the team has put in a lot of hard work, new combinations, different style of play, and come Sydney and Hamilton, we hope to execute our plan,” Amonde charged.

Buoyed by the return of his former captain, head coach Innocent Simiyu is expected to name a strong squad with the likes of Willy Ambaka, Oscar “Big Wheels” Ouma and Dennis Ombachi also in contention.

Oscar Ouma in action for Kenya 7s. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
(FILE)Oscar Ouma in action for Kenya 7s. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

However, skipper Oscar Ayodi, Billy Odhiambo, and speed star Collins Injera, will only be available for the Vancouver Sevens and Las Vegas after sustaining cartilage and hernia injuries respectively.

In a separate interview,  Ayodi was elated by the return of his predecessor and was self-confident Amonde will fill the void left and deliver as expected.

Vice-captain Oscar Ouma will nevertheless take up the captaincy role in the absence of Ayodi.

“Amonde is not new in the team, he brings in a lot of experience, leadership, and influence. His return will be of great benefit to the boys,” Ayodi said.

Ayodi is hopeful the head coach will name a blend of experienced and youthful players for the upcoming assignments so as to expose the youngsters ahead of the Commonwealth and World Cup games later this year.

Oscar Ayodi
(FILE)Kenya 7’s Oscar Ayodi in action in a past tie. [Photo/Courtesy]
“The team has a busy schedule this year and for us to attain our set goals we need to rotate the team with different players for them to be exposed ahead of the World cup and Commonwealth Games,” Ayodi added.

The traveling party will kick off their Sydney Sevens campaign against Cape Town Cup finalist Argentina at 11:06 am (EAT)on  January 26 before facing France at 7:25 am (EAT), before ending the proceedings against Wales.

Shujaa are currently placed 11 on the Series log after accumulating 13 points in the just concluded Dubai and Cape Town Sevens.

The team will jet out on Saturday ahead of a tough assignment in Sydney, Australia and head to New Zealand for the Hamilton Sevens a week later on February 4 and 5.

Pool B Sydney sevens

Shujaa v Argentina

Shujaa v France

Shujaa v Wales.

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