Ace Mwale, Taabu return for Shujaa
The Kenya Sevens head coach Damian McGrath has included an experienced duo of forward Bush Mwale and half-back Daniel Taabu alongside a debuting duo of George Ooro and Abukuse Abukuse in his 13-man squad for Hong Kong Sevens scheduled for next month.
Shujaa in Hong Kong Sevens is scheduled to meet tough Pool D rivals headlined by Argentina, Ireland and Canada which necessitated the redeployment of big guns for duty in the tournament that returns after a two-year hiatus.
This marks the start of the 2022/23 season that welcomes back the duo who missed the coveted 2022 Rugby World Cup 7s(RWC7s) in Cape Town on the grounds of indiscipline.
A total of nine players who donned the Shujaa jersey during the RWC7s in South Africa for a 12th-place finish will be out to impress the Shujaa tactician between November 4 and 6 at the Hong Kong stadium.
Influx of debutants
From the 12-man squad in the World Cup Sevens, a trio of Jeff Oluoch, Sammy Oliech and Collins Injera was dropped and their places have been taken up by Mwale and Taabu together with debutants Abukuse of Menengai Oilers and Ooro of Strathmore Leos.
Last season Shujaa managed just four points in four legs but were lucky because only the best-performed Seven legs were used to give Shujaa a 12th-place finish to point at a possible influx of debutants this season. The two debutants caught the eye of the tactician who attended all the local Sevens circuits where all the new faces were picked from.
The eight players who held onto their places after the RWC7s include captain Nelson Oyoo to be assisted by Vincent Onyala who has left a big gap at the Kenya Simbas in their final preps for the final Rugby World Cup 15s qualifier in Dubai.
Other players include Willy Ambaka, Herman Humwa, Billy Odhiambo, Kevin Wekesa, Anthony Omondi, Edmund Anya and Johnstone Olindi.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja has named 25 players for the women’s Rugby Africa Cup 15s team that will play Zambia this Saturday and hosts Uganda on November 2 for the sole slot to join South Africa and Namibia in next year’s competition.
The squad will be skippered by Peruz Mayuka and consists of sevens stars including nine of the 12-woman squad that represented the country in the Challenger series in August this year.
The missing trio includes dependable wingers led by try-scoring machine Janet Okello, Sinaida Aura and Linet Moraa.
From the previous 7s squad, Naomi Amuguni, Grace Odhiambo, Christable Lindo, Stellah Wafula, Leah Wambui, Jean Bisela, Laureen Otieno, Ann Goreti and Judith Auma will now don the 15s aside jersey.