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Why Kenya Lionesses are not overconfident ahead of Uruguay Challenger Series – coach Mwanja

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 19:01 | By
Kenya Lionesses in Dubai HSBC Challenger Series action against China. PHOTO/Ministry of Rugby
Kenya Lionesses in Dubai HSBC Challenger Series action against China. PHOTO/Mike Lee

Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja has explained why his charges are not overconfident ahead of the Montevideo Challenger Series in March.

Kenya are in Pool B alongside Belgium, Hong Kong, China, and Papua New Guinea, and all of them are tipped to give the East Africans a strong challenge in the competition that will begin on March 8 and end on March 10 in Uruguay.

While acknowledging the strength of the opponents, Mwanja reiterated that they should not be overconfident, although they are hopeful of a far better campaign.

“All those are strong opponents, and we are taking it in stride. We are not really overconfident, but we are also not going to fill up numbers," Mwanja said after unveiling the Kenya Lionesses squad to Uruguay.

Kenya Lionesses in action against Kazakhstan. PHOTO/ Kenya Lionesses play takes a tackle against Kazakhstan. PHOTO/Christopher Pike - World Rugby
Kenya Lionesses in action against Kazakhstan. PHOTO/ Kenya Lionesses play takes a tackle against Kazakhstan. PHOTO/Christopher Pike/World Rugby

Importance of trip

The tactician also explained why the competition is very crucial for the players, given the lessons they are set to learn in the process.

“The Challenger Series means so much to us because it is a precursor to the final showdown for the Olympic qualifiers as well as having a shot at qualifying for the World Series.

“For us, it is also an opportunity to get a lot of valuable exposure and to be able to enjoy the game of rugby on and off the pitch.

“For the girls, it is a great learning experience because most of them have been watching Shujaa travel around the world and envying and desiring, but our hard work has also given us a spot to be able to also travel and play with different nations," he concluded.

The Series is played in three rounds across three continents, with the top four men’s and women’s teams in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 earning 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.

Kenya Lionesses squad:

Sheila Chajira (captain)

Naomi Amuguni

Judith Okumu

Stella Wafula

Sharon Auma

Grace Adhiambo

Janet Okello

Christabel Lindo

Sinaida Nyachio

Maureen Muritu

Phoebe Akinyi

Terry Ayesa

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