Former skipper Humphrey Kayange has been ruled out of the Kenya Sevens team for Dubai and Port Elizabeth legs end month.
Kayange had named in the national Sevens team but examination commitments have forced him to pull out of the squad at the eleventh hour.
Kayange, who is working on his research project at Bristol University, said it is difficult to juggle between the project and the Kenya sevens team assignment.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) director in charge of national teams, Phillip Jalango, said they have been in touch with Kayange over the issue and understand his position. "Yes, we spoke to him and he told us of his examinations commitment," added Jalango.
Kayange, however, said he will avail himself for the final four legs of the circuit next year. Jalango said the former captain had passed the conditioning and fitness tests of coach Mike Friday and had been in contact with the coach. "Kayange had passed the fitness tests and he is in good condition," added Jalango.
Strathmore's RFC's Billy Odhiambo is the new addition to the squad and will play in Port Elizabeth alongside Oscar Ayodi and Fabian Olando.
The trio will replace Collins Injera, Oscar Ouma, and Biko Adema who will play in Dubai but will return home owing to work and examination commitments. Kenya face Spain, Scotland and Fiji in Pool 'A'.
Skipper Andrew Amonde said with the return of Lavin Asego and Sydney Ashioya makes the team even stronger for the two tournaments. "Lavin is a playmaker and has a lot of experiences. He brings speed and good defence to the team and I expect us to be even better for both tournaments," added Amonde.
He said Kenyans will have to raise to the occasion to make an impact irrespective of the pooling. "There are no easy teams in Sevens. We must raise our game and play well to qualify for the quarter-finals, just like we did in Gold Coast last month," added Amonde
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Mwangi Muthee asked the side to emulate the heroics of Gold Coast, where the country reached the semi-finals and ensure high standards are met. "I'm asking the team to maintain high standards from Gold Coast. Let us go out there and make the country proud," he said.
The team leaves on Sunday and returns on December 10. Squad:
Andrew Amonde (KCB), Sidney Ashioya (Quins), Lavin Asego (Mwamba), Philip Wamae (KCB), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Oscar Ouma (Nakuru), Biko Adema (Nondies), Davis Chenge (Bulls), Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Willy Ambaka (Quins), Horace Otieno (Mwamba), Fabian Olando (KCB), Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz) and Billy Odhiambo (Starthmore).