Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Safaricom 7s tickets go on sale

Kenya Rugby Football Union chairman Richard Omwela (left) exchanges documents with Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph during the formal signing of a sponsorship deal for the Safaricom sevens rugby tournament. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

Kenya Rugby Football Union chairman Richard Omwela (left) exchanges documents with Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph during the formal signing of a sponsorship deal for the Safaricom sevens rugby tournament. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO  

By AYUMBA AYODI

Safaricom Sevens tickets go on sale on Wednesday at various outlets in Nairobi.

At the same time, the late Kenya international utility back, Joshua Gathumbi, will be laid to rest on Wednesday at his father’s home in Mwalano, Kilome.

Besides the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) offices on Ngong Road, the daily and season tickets will be on sale at Innscor (Galitos) outlets, Safaricom shops and selected places across the city.

This year’s Safaricom Sevens, slated for June 4 to 6, has attracted 16 teams – including newcomers Argentina and Ponsonby from New Zealand and defending champions Kenya.

Friday’s opening day tickets will retail at Sh300 while Saturday and Sunday ones go for Sh1,000 each. A season’s ticket, covering the three days, is Sh1,700.

Galitos outlets with selling points are OiLibya petrol stations on Ngong Road, Belle Vue, Bomas of Kenya and Limuru Road. Others are Kobil Valley Arcade and Union Towers in the city centre, opposite the Hilton.

The tickets will also be on sale at Safaricom Retail Centers at Westgate, Sarit Centre, I&M Building on Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street, Village Market and Shankardass House on Moi Avenue.

The body of Gathumbi, who passed away last Tuesday, will leave the Lee Funeral Home at 8am followed by a requiem mass at the Holy Family Basilica. He was the son of former Nairobi Kanu branch chairman Habib Omar Kongo and Rose Gathumbi.

Jersey retired

The Number 25 jersey won by the Catholic University student who played for Strathmore Leos before joining Impala RFC was retired in his honour last weekend during the Bamburi Rugby Super Series.

The national 15s head coach, Michael “Tank” Otieno, has meanwhile picked a provisional squad of 50 players for the forthcoming international assignments.

The squad, which has been split into probables, possibles and reserves, will however be whittled down to 35 after Saturday’s trials at the Impala Sports Club grounds.

Conspicuously missing from the list are the national sevens team players, who are in the United Kingdom for the last legs of the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Sevens Series.

Deserving cases in the sevens team will however be considered for selection even after the trials between the probables and possibles, he added.

Draft more players

“What we have done is to draft more players to make the trials more compact and competitive. We have very many options, especially after the Bamburi Series,” said Otieno. “We need to give every player a chance to showcase his stuff.”

The team’s first assignment is the Victoria Cup, which will coincide with the Elgon Cup. Kenya will play Uganda in the Elgon Cup and Zimbabwe in the Victoria Cup. Both are on home-and-away basis.

Otieno termed retaining the Elgon Cup while winning the Ugandan leg of the annual Kenya-Uganda fixture as among his key objectives.

He also expressed his desire to see Kenya making the Confederation of African Rugby Cup final and to improve on their third place finish during the 2007 championship in Madagascar when Uganda thrashed the hosts 42-11 to lift the trophy.

“Our long-term objective is to mould a team that will be able to effectively challenge its continental rivals in the qualifiers for the 2011 Rugby World Cup,” said Otieno.

Kenya takes on Zimbabwe on June 12 in Nairobi and on July 17 in Hararem, and Uganda on June 26 in Kampala and on July 10 in Nairobi.

They also have an international friendly with Mpumalanga on June 19 in South Africa before the Confederation of Africa Cup Trophy in August.

The 15s squad

Probables: 15.Vincent Mose (Impala), 14.Sidney Ashioya (Quins), 13.David Ambunya (Quins), 12.Patrice Agunda (Quins), 11.Peter Abuoga (Quins), 10.Nato Simiyu (Impala), 9.Peter Mutai (KCB), 8.Paul Oimbo (Impala), 7.David Mogere (Quins), 6.Ben Nyambu (Nondies),5.Mike Aung (Nondies), 4.Wilson Kopondo (Mean Machine), 3.Daniel Kiptoo (Quins), 2.Vincent Ongera (Quins), 1.Edwin Alubaka (KCB)
Possibles: 15.Calvins Biko (KCB), 14.Bobby Oyugi (Nondies), 13.Kevin Gisore (Impala), 12.Kelvin Omiyo (Impala), 11.Naftaly Bondo (Quins), 10.Jotham Yahuma (KCB), 9.Mike Mugo (Impala), 8.Ken Isindu (KCB), 7.Oscar Ouma (Nakuru), 6.Andrew Amonde (KCB), 5.Tony Mutai (Quins), 4.Ronnie Mwenesi (KCB), 3.Joel Ng’ang’a (Quins), 2.Sammy Warui (Nakuru), 1.Lawrence Terer (Impala)
Reserves: 1.Nzioka Muema (Impala), 2.Dennis Karani (Impala), 3.Curtis Lilako (KCB), 4.James Kang’ethe (Quins), 5.Joseph Kang’ethe (Quins), 6.George Odipo (Quins), 7.Jake Kamau (Impala), 8.Newman Opiyo (Kisumu), 9.Kevin Umbuge (Impala), 10.Jeff Ojwach (Quins), 11.Duncan Ekasi (Impala), 12.Charles Kanyi (Nondies), 13.Felix Wanjala (Mean Machine), 14.Ken Andola (Strathmore), 15.Edwin Machanje (Mwamba), 16.Matthew Musita (Mombasa Spartans), 17.Fidel Sinei (Mean Machine), 18.Nick Barasa (Quins), 19.Richmond Baraz

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