Oscar Ouma and Samuel Oliech are the most significant inclusions as the Kenya Men’s National Sevens squad was named for the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2019/2020 HSBC Sevens World Series in Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada.
Ouma and Oliech last featured for Shujaa during the 2017/18 campaign and are part of five changes made by Paul Feeney from the side that was in action in Hamilton and Sydney.
The duo spoke about their return to the squad with former captain Ouma saying, “”It feels good to be back in the setup and getting another chance to represent the country. Going forward, it’s all about doing justice to the jersey and respecting it.
When it comes to the team’s performance it can always improve, the team is in a good place with both the experienced and the upcoming players blending well, it’s just taking it up a notch higher and firing from all cylinders.”
Oliech said, “It feels good being back still trying to get my body used to all the training and cardio all over again but all in all feel good. The team has been playing well despite a few slip ups here and there, the hunger is definitely there all that needs to be done is altering and refining a few things and everything should be good to go, these changes can only happen with some time and focus.”
Jacob Ojee, Daniel Sikuta and Oscar Dennis all make a return to Shujaa after missing out on the legs in Oceania due to injury and squad rotation.
Bush Mwale, Geoffrey Okwach, Herman Humwa, Johnstone Olindi and Nelson Oyoo do not make the squad to North America.
Technical Director Feeney, commenting on the squad selection, said, “ The five changes plus a positional change are exciting…gives people opportunity. It’s great to have Oscar Ouma back…giving him an opportunity, Dan Sikuta comes back…he wasn’t in the last two legs…and in the backs Oscar Dennis is back from his broken cheekbone…Sam Oliech comes in for the first time…Jacob Ojee is back..he was injured…missed the last couple of legs and we’re going to look at Vincent Onyala as a center and not a forward…give him an opportunity there….that’s where he plays in the fifteens version…plenty of changes but lots of old heads coming in with the changes and we still have a few of the young boys in there. We’re looking forward to this leg…it should be very interesting.”
Shujaa are in Pool B for the Los Angeles Sevens alongside South Africa, Ireland and Canada. They will start their fixtures with a clash against South Africa at 10.35pm EAT on Saturday 29 February before taking on Ireland at 1.31am EAT on Sunday 1 March. They will wind up their pool fixtures with a clash against Canada at 5.35am EAT on Sunday 1 March.