Kenya ready to shine at Africa Sevens in Tunisia

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Johannesburg - A 12-man Kenya sevens squad that will compete at Africa Sevens held their final run in Nairobi on Tuesday. 

The team will leave for Tunisia on Wednesday for the tournament which be held on Saturday and Sunday. 

Kenya coach Innocent Simiyu oversaw the run as he makes his final touches with the team as his contract will expire after the Africa Sevens, when he will be replaced by Homeboyz coach Paul Murunga. 

In Tunisia, Kenya is set to play Morocco and Botswana in pool matches as they seek to win a cup they last won in 2016 when they beat Zimbabwe in South Africa. 

“I know technically or physically we may be a bit better than them, but of course you have to give it to them. They have prepared so we will leave no stones un-turned and give our best,” said Simiyu.

“There is more pressure on Uganda as the defending champions. For us we are just happy to be there, we just want to express ourselves we have a lot of new blood coming in, we want to see how they will play how they will respond to that level and hopefully we can get the good result.” 

Simiyu said Herman Humwa (Kenya Harlequins) and Michael Wanjala (Homeboyz) will share captaincy of Kenya in Tunisia. 

“Training has been difficult, we had little time to prepare but the key thing is the boys are up to play physically so we are quite happy, and we hope we will have a good outing.” A number of those set to represent Kenya in Tunisia were selected from the national sevens circuit. 

“They [the new players] have a lot of excitement you have to understand, it’s their story, for most of them their journey has begun so it’s just doing small things well, going up there, express themselves and building up from there and hopefully get some good results for the team.” 

“I think Africa Sevens - it’s quite good. We have more regional tournaments to help the game grow, because for us as Kenya to remain in the top tier we need to be having some formidable opposition back at home in the region, we are also happy to have this chance to expose our guys at that level.”

The 2017 Africa Sevens cup was used as a route to the World Cup Sevens held in San Francisco, USA in July. 

Kenya gave it a wide berth having already qualified by virtue of making the semis back in 2013. Kenya 7s squad to Africa 7s 2018 : Eliakim Kichoi, Daniel Taabu, Charles Omondi, Leonard Mugaisi, Alvin Otieno, Michael Wanjala, Herman Humwa, Cyprian Kuto, Derrick Keyoga, Brian Wahinya, Benjamin Marshall, Gramwel Bunyasi. 

Africa Sevens pools: 

Pool A: Kenya, Morocco and Botswana 

Pool B: Uganda, Senegal and Ghana 

Pool C: Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Mauritius 

Pool D: Madagascar, Namibia and Zambia – Nampa/ANA

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