Shujaa head to Safland Sevens after Assupol setback


Dan Sikuta (L) of Samurai tackles Bush Mwale of Kenya Shujaa during their Safari Sevens ...
(FILE)Dan Sikuta (L) of Samurai tackles Bush Mwale of Kenya Shujaa during their Safari Sevens match at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on September 25, 2016. Kenya beat Samurai 38-21 to be crowned champions. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

The national sevens rugby team Shujaa leave for Swakopmund on Wednesday ahead of the Safland Sevens scheduled for this weekend at the Namibian coastal city.

Kenya’s participation at the competition had been subjected to controversy following their last-minute withdrawal from the Assupol Sevens tournament in South Africa.

Head Coach Innocent Simiyu’s charges have been in camp in Nanyuki since failing to honour the Assupol trip two weeks ago due to a visas setback.

Simiyu has named a 12-man travelling squad for the tournament with those who impressed at the just concluded national sevens circuit getting the nod.

Assistant coach Will Webster will take interim charge of the team in Namibia according to the list released by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

Meanwhile, Simiyu and the remaining Shujaa players will extend their Nanyuki stay as they step up preparations for the busy 2017/18 season.

Among the new players who have found favour in Simiyu’s eye are Menengai Oilers’ star Samuel “Smurf” Muregi who was one of the best performers in the recently concluded circuit.

His Oilers teammate Eric Ombasa has also earned a place in the team which also sees new entrant in Homeboyz duo of Charles Omondi and skipper Jeff Oluoch.

There is however no place in the squad for sensational speedster Collins injera, Dennis Ombachi, Billy Odhiambo and Oilers skipper Harold Anduvate.

Countries that will be taking part include South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic.

In 2016, the Shujaa secured the first-runners up position after losing to old rivals South Africa. The Springboks have also confirmed taking part in this year’s edition.

Simiyu will be using the tournament in Namibia as part of his pre-season plan ahead of the HSBC World Sevens season opener in Dubai, United Arab Emirate on December 1-2.

Safland Sevens Squad:

1.Frank Wanyama 2.Dan Sikuta 3.Brian Tanga 4.Samuel Oliech 5.Oscar Ayodi 6.Nelson Oyoo 7.Herman Humwa 8.Charles Omondi 9.Jeff Oluoch 10.Eden Agero 11.Eric Ombasa 12.Sam Muregi. Management: Will Webster (Assintant Coach), Lamech Bogonko (physio), and Eric Ogweno (Team Manager).

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