Felix Ayange recalled for Glasgow 7s
Kenya Sevens head coach Paul Treu has recalled Kenya Harlequin halfback Felix Ayange and Strathmore’s Michael Wanjala to his squad of 12 players for the last two legs of the IRB World Sevens Series in Glasgow and London.
But Treu has left out Nakuru hooker/prop Oscar Ouma in his final squad. The 24-year-old Ouma has been held up by family commitments.
Ouma, who returned to the team for the last two legs in Hong Kong and Tokyo, is the third forward to be left out after injured skipper Andrew Amonde of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Mwamba’s Dan Sikuta Lupao.
Amonde who sustained an arm injury during the Hong Kong Sevens leg. Sikuta also misses out courtesy of a hamstring injury.
Treu is aiming to finish on a high at the Glasgow Sevens which is due on May 3 to 4 in Scotland and will be followed by London Sevens on May 10 to 11 after a lukewarm run since taking over the Kenya Sevens.
Kenya Sevens, who are eying revenge against Fiji and Wales, also face Argentina in Pool C in Glasgow.
The former Springboks Sevens coach has brought back Ayange and Wanjala as he seeks to end the season on a high. The three players missed the Hong Kong and Tokyo legs in March.
Kenya Sevens settled for Shield after beating Portugal 17-10 in the final at Hong Kong Sevens. They had picked 10 points from Tokyo Sevens where they reached the Plate semi-finals, losing to Australia 0-36.
Collins Injera will captain the side in the absence of Amonde.
Team on the rise
“We’re slowly starting to find our feet with the team, we’ve learnt a lot of lessons this past season, tried a couple of new things and gave exposure to new players,” said Treu while unveiling his squad.
“It’s only now that we’re starting to settle down and going into the last events, we would like to finish the season on a high, we would like to take as much confidence out of the next two events to make sure that we lay the foundation to kickstart our campaign for the next season.”
Treu reckons it’s going to be tough without Amonde, Sikuta an Ouma but he is optimistic that the rest of the players will rise to the occasion.
“We look forward to the challenge and we honestly believe we can finish the season on a high,” said Treu.
Treu explained that it was important for Wamae and Wanjala to play.
“It’s also important for us to get someone like Ayange back in the mix as he is one of our most experienced sweeper,” said Treu, adding that he still has enough players who have played at the top level.
Kenya lost to Fiji and Wales 3-45 and 7-10 respectively in the Pool stages in Hong Kong. It was their fifth consecutive loss to Fiji this season and the second to Wales after losing to the former champions in Plate semis in Dubai. Kenya beat Wales 12-7 in Plate semis at Gold Coast.
“But the bigger the challenge the higher the expectations that our team will step up and play at their very best,” Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee said.
“I urge the players to execute their roles well and deliver the best results possible. We would like to end the season on a very high note.” Kenya is ranked ninth in the series with 60 points.