The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: National Team On Way Up

Former Kenya Sevens captain Humphrey Kayange believes Kenya are making huge strides under new coach Mike Friday.

Kayange who played under Friday for the first time time in Port Elizabeth this month said the team is in better shape in terms of fitness and tactics.

"I watched the two tournaments in Gold Coast and Dubai from the sidelines. The boys are in good shap. There is discipline and character which has been lacking for the past two years and we are off to a good start," Kayange added.

Kenya are currently sixth with 37 points from the three tournaments played so far. "He has done a good job instilling confidence in the side. The team has qualified for two semifinals which is no mean feat," Kayange said.

The talismanic player said Kenya's play had improved at the contact and breakdown. "As a team the contact play has been excellent. We are even matching the big teams in the breakdown and we are competitive," he added.

Kayange said the side cannot rest on their laurels for the reminder of the series starting in New Zealand in February.

"Other teams have taken notice of our strengths so we must devise ways of changing game plans and playing according to the opposition.

Kayange said his physical conditioning is improving and hopes to be part of the team Kayange added. Kayange was Kenya's top scorer in Port Elizabeth with six tries to his credit in five matches played.

Kenya assistant coach Felix Ochieng believes the team can beat New Zealand and South Africa in the reminder of the series.

"Going forward I think we can beat the powerhouses because as a side we are improving and its only a matter of time," added Ochieng

Ochieng observed that the players availability has been resolved as at now. Kenya missed three key players in Port Elizabeth with Collins Injera, Biko Adema, and Oscar Ouma missing through examinations.

"I can say that the next legs in Wellington, and Las Vegas all the players will be available." Elsewhere Kenya Rugby Union secretary Jack Okoth has been appointed acting chief executive officer.

In a press statement released yesterday Simon Jawichre has been appointed acting finance manager while long serving Judy Wanjira is the acting administration manager with Kenya 15s coach Michael Otieno the acting rugby services manager.

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