Fit available Kenya sevens squad raises hopes of world series glory
16 January 2014, 13:08
Nairobi - For the first time in a long while, the Kenya Sevens rugby team has the
opportunity to select virtually any member of their large core squad for
their next assignment.
On Friday, the 12-man team for the
coming HSBC IRB World Series rounds in USA and New Zealand will be
announced. It leaves on Saturday for the US.
A recent intensive 10-day training camp in South Africa places about 20 players fit and available to travel.
“Rather than thinking too much about who
will be in the team for Las Vegas [January 24-26] and Wellington
[February 7-8], squad members are looking forward to a good performance
by the team,” said Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee.
“It is not about who is in the team and who is out. We have the spirit of ‘one for all and all for one [team],” he said.
“We have each other’s back. This is an enviable position to be in; as many squad members as possible available for selection.”
Paul Treu, the country’s Performance
Director and Kenya Sevens head coach has the luxury of a wider range of
fit and tested players after an invitational tournament in George last
weekend where he gave a run out to players who had missed the past three
rounds of the World Series in Gold Coast, Dubai and Nelson Mandela Bay.
The management have made firm decisions on filling of the positions at which the team struggled in the last three rounds.
Muthee said the team was better prepared
than usual and the mood among the Kenyan supporters was lively.
“They’ve had a solid training programme; the anticipation is for
“The team will be encouraged to know
that one of the team’s best supporters, President Uhuru Kenyatta, called
on Sunday to candidly enquire about when they would be returning from
South Africa, how the coach [Paul Treu] was fairing, whether everything
was okay and when they’d be travelling to America. He said he would be
following their every move in Las Vegas and Wellington”
But, Muthee added, “I should let them
know that the President upped the stakes by saying supporters were
hungry for success; ‘time to win a Cup is now’, those were the
President’s specific words.”
Muthee said the team have a non-stop
programme running for the next two and a half years and that he
encouraged all players to fulfill their full potential.
“There will be equal opportunity in
selection all the time; among contracted or non-contracted players.
Everyone should be on their toes,” he said.