Adema axed from 7s side

Nondies fly-half dropped as 25-man team is un­veiled

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - RAY­MOND OTIENO @ray­mon­drolex

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).

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