29 September 2018

Africa: Simiyu to Coach Kenya At Africa Cup Sevens

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Sevens fans.

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent "Namcos" Simiyu will handle the team in the Africa Cup Sevens due October 13-14 in Tunis, Tunisia.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) have already advertised for the position of the team's head coach, but the union's director for squads Hillary Itela said Simiyu will only leave at the end of his current contract in October.

"Namcos has not been fired. He has been training the team and was part of the panel that selected the players currently in training," said Itela.

While Simiyu didn't reapply for his job, Itela indicated that most of those on the technical bench are not ready to take a pay cut.

Daniel Taabu of Mwamba and Homeboyz's Mark Wandetto, who were a revelation during the Stanbic Bank National Sevens Series, are among the new faces who have been included in the squad for Rugby Africa Cup Sevens.

Itela said that the squad of 21 players will be trimmed to a final travelling party of 12 as the tournament draws closer.

Four-time champions Kenya will launch their quest to reclaim the title they lost to Uganda in 2016 when they take on Botswana in the opening match on October 13.

Kenya, who last won the diadem in 2016 before Uganda won it back-to-back in 2016 and 2017, will then face Morocco in their last Pool "A" encounter.

Taabu was named the Most Valuable Player in the local Series while Wandetto was the top try scorer, a feat that saw him spar Homeboyz to the Series victory after winning at Prinsloo, Sepetuka, Kabeberi and Christie Sevens.

Others also likely to make their debut for Kenya are Johnstone Olindi (Homeboyz), Timothy Mmasi (Masinde Muliro University) and Eliakim Kichoi (Mwamba), who were also a revelation during local Sevens Series.

The squad is dotted with seasoned players, who have featured for Kenya Sevens at the World Rugby Seven Series. They are Herman Humwa (Quins) and Cyprian Kuto (Quins), and Homeboyz trio of Michael Wanjala, Leonard Mugaisi and Alvin Otieno.

Kenya re making a return to the competition after missing last year's edition and are seeded first for the continental showpiece.

Shujaa Training Squad

Brian Wandera (Homeboyz), Eliakim Kichoi (Mwamba), Herman Humwa (Kenya Harlequin), Charles Omondi (Homeboyz), Benjamin Marshall (Nondescripts), Timothy Mmasi (Masinde Muliro), Alvin Otieno (Homeboyz), Paul Mutsami (Impala Saracens), Michael Wanjala (Homeboyz), Brian Waihenya (Blak Blad), Daniel Taabu (Mwamba), Johnstone Olindi (Homeboyz), Ahmed Shaban (KCB), Mark Kwemoi (Impala Saracens), Leonard Mugaisi (Homeboyz), Gramwell Bunyasi (Nakuru),Edmund Anya (Strathmore Leos), Cyprian Kuto (Kenya Harlequin), Derrick Keyoga (Menengai Oilers), Mark Wandetto (Homeboyz), Archadius Khwesa (Blak Blad)

Africa Cup Sevens Day One Order Of Play (October 13)

Pool Fixture Time (East Africa)

A Kenya v Botswana 1.00pm

B Uganda v Ghana 1.22pm

C Zimbabwe v Mauritius 1.44pm

D Madagascar v Namibia 2.06pm

A Morocco v Botswana 2.50pm

B Senegal v Ghana 3.12pm

C Tunisia v Mauritius 3.34pm

D Zambia v Namibia 3.56pm

A Kenya v Morocco 4.40pm

B Uganda v Senegal 5.02pm

C Zimbabwe v Tunisia 5.24pm

D Madagascar v Zambia 5.46pm

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