Adema axed from 7s side
Nondies fly-half dropped as 25-man team is unveiled
Former Kenya Sevens captain Humphrey Kayange and Nondies’ fly-half Biko Adema were the biggest casualties as head coach Innocent Simiyu unveiled a 25-man provisional squad ahead of the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens circuit.
Adema missed the better part of the 2015/16 season due to an injury and had to fight his way back to the team during the Rio Olympics despite being off form. Competition for positions, however, locked him out as he failed to impress last week. Kayange, who is also Mwamba forward, announced his retirement after the Rio Olympic Games.
Samurai International Dan Sikuta and Martin Owila have made a comeback after a season in the cold while Elton Isiaho, Aluda Beda and Derrick Mayar made their debuts into the team. The reigning National Sevens Circuit champions Homeboyz have the lion’s share in the latest selection.
“The new players gave their best during the first training session and earned the admiration of the selection panel. Owila and Sikuta were especially impressive. Owila performed for KCb last season while Sikuta had successful season both locally and during his stint with Samurai International and recently won the Independence Sevens tournament in Nigeria,” said Simiyu. The squad will be whittled to 20 by November 1 and the players will sign contracts with the Kenya Rugby Union ahead of the season starting with Dubai Sevens on December 2.
Simiyu insisted that he doesn’t have major issues with the time remaining for training and conditioning of the team even though it’s a bit late. He is, however, wary of the availability of players considering the Kenya Cup season starts next month.
“The time left for training will be enough and I am happy the players are all set—both mind and body. There has been full house training during the last two sessions. My work will be to trim the team to the best 20 based on merit,” he added. “We hope that the local coaches will release players in time for conditioning since we need roughly eight weeks of intense strength and conditioning as well as tactical training,” he added.
Simiyu’s first task will be the Dubai Sevens where Kenya face France, Japan and Australia in Pool ‘D’. Kenya best performance in Dubai came in 2012 and 2009, where they reached the semi-finals. Andrew Amonde (Captain), Martin Owila, Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Dan Sikuta, Aluda Beda, Brian Tanga (Kabras), Derrick Mayar, Ian Minjire, Samuel Oliech (Impala), Willy Ambaka, Frank Wanyama, Eden Agero (Harlequin), Elton Isiaho, Alex Olaba (Strathmore), Alvin Otieno, Bush Mwale, Augustine Lugonzo, Leonard Mugaisi, Cyprian Kuto, Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Billy Odhiambo, Dennis Ombachi, Collins Injera (Mwamba), Oscar Ouma, Nelson Oyoo (Top Fry).