Kenya Harlequin prop Herman Humwa is set to make his debut for Kenya Sevens in the opening legs of the 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai and Cape Town.
The former Koelel High School lock, who played for Kenya Under-19 team, was the only player to make the cut from a pool of six new players who have been training with a squad of 22 players.
However, the remaining players, will be considered for the forthcoming assignments considering that the season will be long with many tournaments including the Commonwealth Games and World Cup Sevens.
The new players left out are Harold Anduvati (Oilers), Arthur Owira (KCB), Monate Akwei (Nakuru), Eric Ombasa (Oilers), Sam Muregi (Oilers).
Dubai Sevens is due December 1-2 in United Arab Emirates and will be followed by Cape Town Sevens on December 9–10 in South Africa.
Head coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu settled on Homeboyz centre Oscar “Mr. Wisdom” Ayodi as his new captain, replacing injured Andrew Amonde, who is out for two months after a surgery. Also out with an injury is Mwamba centre Billy “The Kid” Odhiambo. Another notable inclusion is Willy Ambaka.
'ALLOWANCES AND CONTRACTS'
Some of the major casualties when Simiyu named his squad of 12 players were Nakuru prop Oscar Ouma and Homeboyz hooker Bush Mwale.
Ayodi, who is humbled by the gesture, said his charges are enthusiastic about the new season and are looking forward to get good results.
“We had the best pre-season as compared to last season where there was players went on strike over allowances and contracts,” said the 28-year-old Ayodi.
“Nothing is outstanding this time. We are all excited ahead of the new season.”
Ayodi indicated that the return of strength and conditioning coach Geoffrey Kimani brought some new impetus in the team’s pre-season training especially during the camp in Nanyuki.
Besides eying a top five finish in the World Rugby Series with over 100 points, Ayodi is confident of reaching the medal bracket at Commonwealth Games due April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia and later the World Cup Sevens planed for July 20-22 at AT&T Park, San Francisco, USA.
Kenya are up against South Africa, who are the World Sevens Series and Dubai Sevens defending champions, Canada and Uganda in Pool “A”.
“It’s a manageable pool since every team will be trying to get their form, this being the first event,” said Ayodi, a former Vihiga High School and Kenyatta University alumni.
Kenya finished 12th during the 2016-2017 Series, reaching the Cup quarters in two events only in Cape Town and Singapore where they were the defending champions.
Team for Dubai Sevens and Cape Town Sevens
Props: Herman Humwa (Quins), Dan Sikuta (Kabras), Willy Ambaka (Manawatu)
Hookers: Frank Wanyama (Quins), Jeff Oluoch (Homeboyz)
Scrumhalves: Brian Tanga (Kabras), Collins Injera (Mwamba)
Flyhalves: Eden Agero (Quins)
Centres: Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Samuel Oliech (Impala)
Wing: Dennis Ombachi (Nondies), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru)