Nairobi News

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Dubai Sevens major test for Treu

Kenya Sevens will today take on Portugal at 8:46am in their first pool game of the Dubai Sevens before tackling France at 1:16pm and New Zealand at 6:16pm.

The tournament is the first under head coach Paul Treu, who will be using all combinations as he seeks to build a formidable team to contest for a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.

The team finished in third at last year’s edition following a 15-12 win over France in the third place play-off, after going down 7-27 to New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Treu is confident in the debutants Leonard Mugaisi and Humphrey Mulama. His target is a Main Cup quarter-final appearance as the bare minimum goal for the national team

“Mugaisi has extraordinary pace, and Mulama was the best performer in the defence drills. But being their first tournament, fans shouldn’t expect to see too much of them for now,” he said.

Acclamatise

The former South Africa Sevens coach said senior players such as captain Andrew Amonde, Biko Adema and Collins Injera will be tasked with ensuring the younger players acclimatise to the pressure and conditions on the big stage.

After the Dubai leg ends Sunday, the team will head to South Africa for the Port Elizabeth Sevens set for next weekend.

In an article appearing on the official International Rugby Board (IRB) website www.irbsevens.com Treu admits thinking long and hard about the decision to move to Kenya and whether it was the right move. The coach said he spoke with a lot of people, had second thoughts, but in the end it was the players who helped him make his decision.

“When I came over and met the players for the first time in Nairobi, even before I was appointed, there was a connection there, and I could see that there was a certain type of hunger and desire in the players to learn,” he said.