National Sevens circuit champions Homeboyz, Kabras Sugar, Nakuru and hosts Mwamba have made changes to their squads ahead of the Kabeberi Sevens that kicks off on Saturday at the RFUEA grounds.
Fresh from lifting Driftwood Sevens last weekend where they beat Nakuru 17-7 in the final, the Menengai Cream sponsored Homeboyz have made three changes to their side.
Head coach Paul Murunga has brought in Tony Khadambi, Mark Wandeto and Michael Nyakundi for Riddick Okwemba, Brian Songoi and Collins Shikoli.
Murunga has preferred retaining most of the players who led the Deejays to their first Cup victory this season in the likes of Kenya Sevens players Cyprian Kuto, Leonard Mugaisi, Humphrey Owuor and Jeff Oluoch.
Oluoch will captain the side which starts their campaign against Mwamba at 9.30am before facing Daystar at 12.10pm. They will wind up their Pool A matches against Nondies at 4.10pm.
“I thought I would bring in more Kenya Sevens players but I will put that on hold to give these promising youngsters a chance,” said Murunga. “As much as I am out to retain to retain the Circuit title, I also need to consider exposing other players.”
Murunga, who led Homeboyz to the Circuit title last year without Augustine Lugonzo, Bush Mwale and Oscar Ayodi who were with Kenya Sevens, remains optimistic of repeating the feat this term.
At Mwamba, half-back Ronnie Omondi has been handed his Circuit’s debut by stand-in coach Humphrey Kayange. Omondi is one of the two changes to the side where former Kenya Sevens player Horace Owiti has been drafted. The two replace injured Michael Agevi and Lukes Obonyo who featured in Driftwood Sevens.
Mwamba beat KCB 12-10 to lift the Driftwood Sevens Challenge Trophy last weekend.
“Homeboyz will be our toughest challengers but we can’t underrate Nondies and Daystar,” said Kayange. “Our main target is to reach the quarters hence we must raise our game on Day One.”
Kabeberi Sevens title holders Kabras Sugar are not taking chances ahead of their Pool D battle against Driftwood Sevens surprise package Mean Machine, Strathmore Leos and Makueni.
Kenya Sevens players Brian Tanga and Daniel Sikuta and returnee Fabian “Rango” Olando, have been included in the Kabras Sugar rooster.
Olando returns from a lengthy injury layoff that saw him undergo surgery on his knee and shoulder while Sikuta and Tanga were brought on board after being released from the Kenya Sevens team.
Kabras, who finished fifth overall at Driftwood after beating Impala Saracens 5-0 in the classification match, launch their defence against Makueni at 11.50am before taking on Strathmore at 2.30pm and Mean Machine at 5.10pm.
MADE TWO CHANGES
Nakuru, handled by Mitch Ocholla formerly of Strathmore Leos, have made two changes to their squad. Ocholla has brought in Kenya Sevens trialist Gramwell Bunyasi and Collins Onyango for Davis Namusasi and Martin Muita.
Nakuru take on Kisii, KCB and Kenya Harlequin in Pool B regarded as the “Pool of Death.”
Quins are set to unveil the Ugandan trio of Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Solomon Okia and Joseph Aredo for the duel. The Ugandans come in for Edward Shitanda, Pius Shiundu and Ginton Adongo.
Quins relinquished their Driftwood crown after a shock 7-0 quarterfinal loss to Machine.
Kabeberi Sevens Pools
Pool A: Homeboyz, Nondescripts, Mwamba, Daystar Falcons
Pool B: Nakuru, Quins, KCB, Kisii
Pool C: Menengai Oilers, Impala Saracens, Blak Blad, Catholic Monks
Pool D: Mean Machine, Kabras Sugar, Strathmore Leos, Makueni