The Star (Nairobi)

24 January 2013

Kenya: Team Beefed Up

STAR winger Collins Injera, fly-half Biko Adema and loose forward Oscar Ouma return to the Kenya squad ahead of the IRB Sevens Series in Wellington and Las Vegas next month.

Strathmore's Michael Wanjala, who missed out in Dubai and Port Elizabeth due to examinations, has also been included in the team.

Sidney Ashioya will be the non-travelling reserve, owing to work commitments, while playmaker Lavin Asego will miss out on the tour, owing to work commitments.

Announcing the squad yesterday, assistant coach Felix Ochieng said the return of the players will bolster the squad after a disappointing performance in Port Elizabeth, where they only bagged five points after being relegated to the bowl category despite winning two group games.

"It's good to have the three players back in the squad and we have had an intensive six week training period where we have corrected the mistakes in the team," added Ochieng.

He said the team will be physical in Wellington as they are drawn alongside France, Argentina and Tonga. "All the four teams in the pool play a physical game with us being the only exception. But we have worked on the physical aspect of the game and the players have been well conditioned for the task at hand in the two tournament," added Ochieng.

He noted that concentration and tactical discipline on the field will be key after Kenya switched off in the final match against Wales in the final group game in Port Elizabeth.

"We lost a bit of concentration and defensively, we did not perform and its something we the technical bench have worked on to improve," added Ochieng.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) director in charge of elite squads, Phillip Jalango, said they will install Global Positioning System (GBS) on the Sevens team to monitor players work rate on and off the field.

"We have imported the GPS progrmmes which will be used by the ten core players as we seek to keep pace with the top teams in the world," said Jalango.

Jalango the union is working on players availability to ensure the country's best players play on the circuit. "The chairman has taken the proactive step of speaking to the players' employers and universities to see if we can get a working schedule on their availability," added Jalango. The Kenya Sevens team was given the flag by President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday for the remainder of the IRB series and the President wished the team well in the remaining part of the series.

In his remarks, KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee thanked the team's sponsor Kenya Airways for their continued support of the team. " I call on other corporate bodies to emulate what KQ are doing.

Their slogan--Pride of Africa --is also an inspiration to our side. I also thank the media for being true partners." He said: "The team will leave a day earlier so as to counter the effects of jet lag. We expect better results in Wellington and Vegas. The team has been built on a lot of discipline and hard work under the captainship of Andrew Amonde.

The technical bench has put in a lot of work. We received the national flag from the President yesterday and we will deliver as we embark on this mission."

The Kenya team leaves fro New Zealand on Saturday and are expected back in the country on February 13.

Team: Andrew Amonde (KCB), Phillip Wamae (KCB), Oscar Ouma (Nakuru), Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Davis Chenge (Western Bulls), Horace Owiti (Mwamba), Fabian Olando (KCB), Michael Wanjala (Strathmore), Biko Adema (Nondies), William Ambaka (Quins), Collins Injera (Mwamba) and Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba).

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