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Profile of Kenya's rugby players

27 June 2013, 16:34 Kimathi Kamau

Nairobi - Kenya is among the three African nations that will place the continent on the map at the 2013 IRB World Cup Sevens in Russia starting Friday.

The players have excelled in the shorter version of the game, finishing fourth four years ago after they were ousted by Argentina in the semi finals.

They will join Tunisia and Zimbabwe in carrying Africa's torch in Moscow and they are drawn in Pool C against the latter, the Philippines and giants Samoa.

Below is the prayer-profile for England coach, Mike Friday's Kenyan line-up that is targeting nothing less than reaching the finals to improve on their showing in Dubai four years ago.


Date of Birth: 25 December 1983

Position: Forward

Club Side: KCB

The combative KCB player had been lurking in the shadows for a while, finally getting his big break in December 2009 when he made the team to the opening rounds of the IRB Sevens World Series.

He has eventually risen in stature to captain the team during the just concluded 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series and will lead the team to the RWC 7s in Moscow where they are in Pool C alongside Samoa, Zimbabwe and the Phillipines.


Date of Birth: 18 October 1986

Position: Wing/Center

Club Side: Mwamba RFC

The Mwamba RFC player needs no introduction. Injera first played rugby at Vihiga High School, joining Ulinzi RFC after completion of his secondary education. He would soon move to Mwamba RFC following the disbandment of the army side.

The top scorer in the 2008/2009 IRB Sevens World Series when he scored 42 tries has been the man to finish the job for Kenya on many occasions. His almost telepathic understanding with his elder brother, Humphrey Kayange has seen them combine to touch down on important occasions for Kenya. Strong on offense and defense, Injera's importance cannot be downplayed. He will be the team's vice captain at the RWC 7s in Moscow.


Date of Birth: 3 March 1989

Position: Forward

Club Side: Nakuru RFC

Nickname: Big Wheels

Nakuru RFC's Oscar Ouma is a powerful loose-forward that is punishing in defence, fleeted footed and deceptively quick on offense. After debuting for Kenya' s U-20 team at the 2009 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Nairobi, Ouma really exploded onto the scene at the 2009 National Sevens Circuit, when playing on the wing, he led his club side Nakuru to an overall third place finish. He has since broken into the Kenya Sevens team, playing as a forward.

Whether playing sevens or fifteens, Ouma is a joy to watch and it will be interesting to see what he can offer as he runs out in Moscow for his RWC 7s debut.


Date of Birth: 14 May 1990

Position: Back

Club Side: Kenya Harlequin FC

Dubbed Kenya's "Lomu" The former student of Dr. Aggrey High School in Mombasa and Kenya Harlequins RFC player has seen his star rise steadily. He was in the forwards when Mike Friday arrived as head coach and his decision to move the gentle giant into the centre and wing positions has proved inspired. His was the telling performance when Kenya reached the Cup final in Wellington on the Series, beating New Zealand in the semis, and he was also a big factor in the other three semi finals the Kenyans have reached this season.

A massive breakthrough year for the young man who has also been nominated for the 2012/2013 IRB Sevens World Player of the Year. Let's see what Big Willy has in store at the RWC 7s in Moscow.


Date of Birth: 20 July 1982

Position: Forward

Club Side: Mwamba RFC

The Mwamba RFC player is nicknamed "Tall" for his imposing height. Kayange is not only the team's immediate former captain and still very much one of its leaders. His ball getting ability as well as that knack to make those clinical breaks and score the crucial tries for the team underscore the huge role he plays in the team. He led the side to the semi final of the IRB RWC Sevens 2009 in Dubai, ensuring Kenya wins automatic qualification to the next edition of the RWC Sevens World Cup in 2013. He has also led Kenya to three consecutive Safari Sevens titles between 2008 and 2010. His experience and leadership will be key for Kenya at the 2013 RWC 7s in Moscow.


Date of Birth: 7 November 1989

Position: Forward

Club Side: Kenya Harlequin FC

The Kenya Harlequin player is blessed with great counter attacking ability, a powerful handoff and an eye for spotting the gap, a quality that sets him apart from other contenders. He will make his RWC 7s debut for Kenya in Moscow.


Date of Birth: 1 September 1987

Position: Back

Club Side: Nondescript RFC

The Nondescript RFC player is gifted with vision and a turn of pace...qualities have seen him hold down a place in the team. He was part of the team that created history in getting to the RWC Sevens 2009 semi finals in Dubai. We all remember his try in that historic 26-7 quarter final win over defending champions Fiji. Has been a regular in the national side and returns for a second RWC 7s


Date of Birth: 25 May 1984

Position: Back

Club Side: Mwamba RFC

The Mwamba RFC player is another important cog in the Kenya Sevens machine. Asego is one of those players who can open up a game with his darting runs through the opposition' s defense lines. His massive boot has seen him get the team out of pressure situations on many occasions with his place kicks and conversions. Returns for a second RWC 7s, having been part of the history making class of 2009.


Date of Birth: 20 June 1986

Position: Forward

Club Side: Mwamba RFC

Another player from Mwamba RFC, Horace has been a useful member of the Kenya Sevens team over the years; popping up with crucial times. He is a strong runner with a lethal burst of speed. Was part of the history making team that reached the 2009 RWC 7s semis and returns as part of the class of 2013 that looks to go all the way and return to Nairobi with the Melrose Cup awarded to the #RWC7s winners.


Date of Birth: 21 May 1989

Position: Back

Club Side: Kenya Harlequin FC

Ayange has the potential to be one of the team's most devastating players. Not only a good distributor of the ball, he also has the vision and ability to slice through opponents defense lines before leaving them for dead with his bursts of speed.

Missed the opening seven rounds of the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World series through injury but recovered well enough to make the Kenya squad to the last two legs of the series in Glasgow and London as well as the RWC 7s 2013 in Moscow.

A player with a big heart, Ayange is definitely the kind of player every coach wants in his team.


Date of Birth: 17 September 1990

Position: Back

Club Side: Kenya Harlequin FC

Former Kenya Fifteens Head Coach Michael Otieno while handing the Kenya Harlequin player his maiden call up ahead of the 2012 Elgon Cup described Agero using these words, "Agero's qualities are rare and it's not easy to find a player who can plays with such ease and precision. His passes are the best and something I haven't seen in this country in a long time. It was so exciting to watch him play for his club. " Well, Agero has since made the cut for Mike Friday's Kenya squad to the RWC 7s in Moscow and he will be keen to showcase his qualities to the world.


Date of Birth: 16 August 1989

Position: Back

Club Side: Strathmore Leos

The Strathmore Leos player has been an ever present fixture in his debut season and also makes the final 12 to Moscow. An effective distributor of the ball, his work rate has been key to Kenya's strong showing this past season. He will make his RWC 7s debut in Moscow.

- Xinhua

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