Sports

Challenger Series: 2 return as Ambetsa, Ojwang set for Kenya 7s debut

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 15:02 | By
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/(@KenyaSevens)/Kenya 7s/X
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/(@KenyaSevens)/Kenya 7s/X

Dennis Abukuse and Ben Salem have returned to the Kenya 7s side after the squad for the Challenger Series was named by coach Kevin Wambua.

The two make their return to the national squad for the first time since their last appearance in the World 7s Series last year and are primed to feature in the competition that will be held in Uruguay from March 8–10.

Lameck Ambetsa, Chrissant Ojwang, and Elvis Olukusi have made the cut, but Wambua will have to be content with the absence of Patrick Odongo. Odongo was Kenya's outstanding star in the Dubai Series, in which he ended up topping the scorers' chart with 11 tries.

Kenya 7s speedster Patrick Odongo scores at the Dubai Challenger Series. PHOTO/World Rugby
Kenya 7s speedster Patrick Odongo scores at the Dubai Challenger Series. PHOTO/World Rugby

As Brian Tanga is ruled out by an injury as well, Festus Shiasi, William Mwanji, and Brian Mutugi will not travel to Uruguay.

Kenya 7s will face Tonga, Georgia, and Portugal in Pool A, while Pool B's rivals are Chile, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Kenya's regional rivals, Uganda, are in Pool B, which also has Germany, Uruguay, and Papua Guinea.

Given that Kenya are leading the competition's standings, courtesy of five wins out of six in Dubai, they are the favourites ahead of the March showdown.

The Shujaa have a two-point lead over Chile, with Uruguay and Germany enjoying the third and fourth positions, respectively.

The Challenger Series was introduced in 2020, and its primary aim is to promote the global development of rugby sevens and establish a clear pathway to the top tier of global rugby sevens.

The top four men’s and women’s teams in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 will have the opportunity to participate in a promotion and relegation play-off competition at the SVNS Grand Final in Madrid from May 31 to June 2, 2024, competing against teams ranked ninth to 12th from the HSBC SVNS 2024.

Kenya 7s squad in full

Vincent Onyala
Tony Omondi
Kevin Wekesa
John Okoth
Dennis Abukuse
George Ooro
Nigel Amaitsa
Samuel Asati
Ben Salem
Chrisant Owang
Lamec Ambetsa
Elvis Olukusi

More on Sports


ADVERTISEMENT