Collins Injera left out in Rugby Africa Cup against Algeria
Kenya's top most try scorer in the World Rugby Sevens Series Collins Injera is set to miss out on today's clash against Algeria in the Rugby Africa Cup semifinal. Injera who featured in the quarterfinal against Uganda picked up an abductor strain injury that seems to still have a kicker on the talisman.
The Kenya Simbas winger will be replaced by incoming Derrick Ashiundu who has been lauded by head coach Paul Odera. "We've had to make three changes, two due to injury and one tactical, Collins Injera has not been able to shake off an abductor strain that he had in the match against Uganda so Derrick Ashiundu comes in," explained Odera.
"Of course its a very good replacement because Derrick brings a different type of rugby to the field. He is big, strong and quick so we are very excited to see him play in his first test match." Added Odera.
For Injera, a qualification into the World Cup would simply sum up what would be a 'perfect career' for him. “Fifteens is where I started my game and as a matter of fact, that is where I got my first ever national team call up before Sevens got the better of me. So this is pretty special, having the chance to qualify for the 15s Rugby World Cup,” explained Injera.
Prior to being included in coach Paul Odera’s disciplined set up for the new crop of the Simbas, Injera’s last involvement with the 15s side was in 2018 during the Repechage tournament.
He was also part of the 2014 team that came inches close to achieving this World Cup dream, but a last day loss to Zimbabwe killed the dream making it far fetched once again.
Coach Odera termed the Algerians who are ranked 82nd in the world as dangerous, warning that they can't afford to take them lightly.
"They are a good team. They are big and strong in the forwards. They have a very organized and experienced backline and their ball distribution is well,” added Odera.
The coach also noted that Algeria will have a home crowd advantage due to the several Algerian fans who reside in the south of France. "It will be a big plus for them but our boys are relishing the task at hand," added Odera.
Now if Kenya win today at 1900 hours, they await the winner of the second semifinal between champions Namibia and Zimbabwe in the final. The final will lastly be played on Sunday with the winner qualifying for the Rugby World Cup in France next year.