NAIROBI, May 16 (Xinhua) — Kenya Sevens rugby team is under pressure to retain their core status in the World Sevens Series as they head to London and Paris legs later this month.
The Kenya team, nicknamed Shujaa are ranked in position 13 and have amassed 25 points one above Wales (25) and four over Japan (22), which has left coach Paul Murunga facing a relegation battle.
London Sevens will be played on May 25-26 while the Paris tournament is set for June 1-2. “It means we must by all means necessary finish above the two sides in London and Paris,” said Murunga on Thursday in Nairobi.
The coach was speaking after naming his team for the Europe tour. Murunga has made three changes to the side that was in Hong Kong and Singapore.
He has brought in Cyprian Kuto, Brian Wandera and Charles Omondi all who missed out on a number of legs in the season due to injuries.
“I am happy to be back in the team, so that we can achieve our set targets in these last two legs of the series. I had a hip problem in Vancouver that has since been dealt from the rehab sessions with Lamech Bogonko and Michael Shamia. I am going to put my best foot forward,” said Cyprian Kuto, Thursday in Nairobi.
Murunga has retained the rest of his regulars, Vincent Onyala, Andrew Amonde, Bush Mwale, Daniel Sikuta, Eden Agero, Daniel Taabu, Jefferey Oluoch, Nelson Oyoo and Johnstone Olindi.
Captain Jacob Ojee who missed out on the Asian tour due to academic commitments will also be back in action at the London and Paris Sevens. Ojee will be deputized by Oluoch.
“We have been working on our weak areas mostly during the last one month of training since the team came back from Hong Kong. We have also built up on our team plays since all the players have trained together, for longer and not as before when the senior players joined the set up a few sessions to the travel date,” added Captain Jacob Ojee.
Even as teams battle it out for the series title, it is important to note that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification is at stake since the top four teams in the 2019 World Series will confirm their Olympics spot.
Shujaa will kick off their London Sevens campaign in Pool B against Olympic champions Fiji, their second match pits them against Samoa before they wrap up their day one against France. Enditem