Menengai Oilers centre Eric Ombasa and winger Sam Muregi are set for their maiden show with Kenya Sevens at Cape Town Sevens, the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series this weekend.
Ombasa, 20, and Muregi, 22, were a revelation during the 2017 National Sevens Series for Oilers, who reached the final at Kabeberi Sevens.
The Oilers duo and Nakuru prop Oscar Ouma have replaced Dennis Ombachi and Collins Injera, who were ruled out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
The players leave the country Tuesday to link up with the rest of the squad that is captained by Homeboyz centre Oscar Ayodi in Cape Town.
Shujaa finished seventh overall with 10 points after losing to Australia 19-12 in the fifth place semi-final on Saturday during the Dubai Sevens.
Shujaa is in Pool “A” at Cape Town Sevens with hosts South Africa, who are fresh from defending their Dubai Sevens title, France and Russia.
Shujaa renew their rivalry with South Africa, who beat them 48-5 in the pool stages in Dubai.
They last met France and Russia at Paris Sevens last season, where they lost to the hosts 22-14 in the pool stages, before also losing to the Russians 15-7 in the semi-final for 13th place.
Strength and conditioning coach Geoffrey Kimani had in an early interview indicated that working with a bigger squad was advantageous for ample rotation and praised clubs for keeping their players in good shape.
“It has been easy working with these new kids like Muregi and Ombasa owing to the status training with their clubs,” said Kimani.
Menengai Oilers are handled by former Shujaa deputy skipper Gibson Weru.
Shujaa will not only be looking to better their performance from Dubai, but also improve on their last year’s results from Cape Town where they lost to Fiji 33-21 in the final for fifth place.
It was Shujaa’s best show last season where they finished 12th overall.
New Zealand, who lost 24-12 to South Africa, who are also the Series defending champions, in the Dubai Cup final, have been drawn with Australia, Spain and USA in Pool “B” at Cape Town Sevens.
Reigning Cape Town champions England will play in Pool “C “against Scotland, Argentina and Uganda.
Fiji have been drawn in Pool “D” against Samoa, Canada and Wales.
Shujaa squad to Cape Town
Oscar Ayodi (Captain), Oscar Ouma (Vice Captain), Nelson Oyoo, Willy Ambaka, Frank Wanyama, Eden Agero, Dan Sikuta, Brian Tanga,Samuel Oliech, Herman Humwa, Jeff Oluoch, Samuel Muregi, Erick Ombasa