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Visa hitch forces rugby player to miss Commonwealth games

18 July 2014, 09:22

Nairobi -  Michael Owila's dream of making his Kenya 7s debut at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games went up in smoke late Wednesday when his visa to travel to Britain could not be processed in time.

Owila, who was handed his first call-up by South African head coach Paul Treu after impressing in the botched Kenya 15s campaign for Rugby World Cup (RWC) qualification in Madagascar, will be replaced by regular Biko Adema who was initially axed from the squad to accommodate the local side Nakuru RFC eighth man.

Kenya Rugby Union confirmed late Wednesday that Adema had packed his bags and travelled to Scotland to link up with the team that is aiming to break into the medals at the Club Games that start next weekend.

Owila was part of the 15s team that fell short of 2015 RWC qualification at the final hurdle when they lost their last game 28-10 to Zimbabwe in the round robin format Confederation of African Rugby Division 1A Championships.

Namibia obliterated the hosts 89-10 to steal automatic qualification with Zimbabwe having to go to a play-off against Russia to have hopes of making it to England.

The 7s squad is the only team sport Kenya will be parading at the Scotland Club Games and are aiming to clinch one of the top four places that will guarantee their qualification for the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio where the shorter version of the game is making its debut.

Kenya lost the Main Cup quarters to Australia at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and are drawn in Group B alongside fellow African titans South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cook Islands whom they shall play in their opener.

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