An ankle Injury has locked out Kenya Sevens deputy skipper Jacob Ojee from the next two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton and Sydney.
Mwamba speedster Collins Injera is back in the team after recovering from a shoulder injury as deputy head coach Kevin “Bling” Wambua handed KCB prodigy Geoffrey Okwatch his maiden international cap.
Injera missed the opening legs in Dubai and Cape Town in December owing to the injury sustained during Safari Sevens in October.
The expected return of Nakuru’s Oscar Ouma and Dennis Ombachi from Nondescripts, has been put on hold after Ouma failed fitness test while injury has locked out Ombachi.
Also missing out in the travelling squad of 13 players is Kabras Sugar’s Dan Sikuta and Oscar Dennis, who was part of the World Rugby Sevens Series opening legs of Dubai and Cape Town. Sikuta has been rested while Dennis also has an injury.
Wambua named the squad at Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) showground after a four-day residential camp in Nakuru. The team leaves on Saturday evening.
Hamilton Sevens is due January 25-26 at the FMG Waikato Stadium, New Zealand while Sydney Sevens runs from February 1-2 at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
“It’s a good blend and good mix as we have very experienced players in the team like skipper Andrew Amonde, and Injera who is coming from injury and young players like Daniel Taabu and Okwatch,” said Wambua.
“Oscar was dropped as he needed to undergo another fitness test as we monitor his progress. He only trained for one week,” explained Wambua.
Wambua was impressed by the performance of the team at the Nakuru training camp which he described as “vigorous and intense.”
“The boys will have two days break before they depart to Hamilton on Saturday,” explained Wambua adding that they decided to hold the camp in Nakuru so as to break monotony.
“There is a lot of sunshine in Hamilton and Sydney which is almost similar to current weather pattern in Nakuru and hence the choice of our training camp,” said Wambua.
He said the pool in Hamilton is tough and Shujaa will go flat out to win their matches against South Africa, England and Japan in Pool “B”.
Amonde said the team was in high spirits and described the return of Injera and introduction of Okwatch as timely.
“In Cape Town we went up to quarters and our target this time around is to surpass the quarter-final mark and reach the semis,” said Amonde.
Andrew Amonde (KCB, captain), Jeffrey Oluoch (Homeboyz), Alvin Otieno (Homeboyz), Bush Mwale (Homeboyz), Billy Odhiambo (Mwamba), Daniel Taabu (Mwamba), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru), Herman Humwa (Harlequin), Willy Ambaka (Harlequin), Johnstone Olindi (KCB), Vincent Onyala (KCB), Geoffrey Okwach (KCB, debut)