The Nation (Nairobi)

By Geoffrey Anene

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu is on a scouting mission to reinforce his squad ahead of upcoming Safari Sevens after seven players were called up to the 15-a-side team, Kenya Simbas.

Simiyu was at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) last weekend after being asked by Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) to prepare two teams for the October 30-31 international event.

He will be missing backs Jone Kubu, Brian Tanga, Dan Sikuta and Derrick Ashiundu (all Kabras Sugar) as well as KCB duo of Vincent Onyala and Jacob Ojee.

The seven are in Coach Paul Odera’s provisional squad of 40 players gearing up for South Africa tour slated for November 6-25.

“We were scouting for young talented players in Kakamega last weekend aged 20 years and below because we are going field two teams – Kenya Shujaa and Kenya Morans – at the Safari Sevens,” said the tactician.

He explained that he is left with 17 players in camp after the seven joined Kenya Simbas.

“We got 10 players in Kakamega where eight teams competed. There is another Under-20 tournament this weekend in Nairobi where we also hope to get more talent. I’m looking at getting 15 players from the exercise in Kakamega and Nairobi to have a squad of 32 before we trim it to 30 for Safari Sevens.”

Simiyu also revealed that Kenya Shujaa will face Coach Paul Murunga’s Kenya Under-20 side (Chipu) in a friendly match on Thursday as part of the scouting and preparations for the annual tournament which is back on the KRU calendar after last year’s edition failed to take place due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Shujaa is set to resume training at RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi on Tuesday after breaking for public holiday on October 10-11.

“We held a Zoom session with the players lasting one hour on Monday because we did not want to interfere with their holiday,” he noted.

Simiyu is expected to welcome back Daniel Taabu (Mwamba) and Derrick Keyoga (Menengai Oilers) on Tuesday from injury. Taabu had concussion while Keyoga suffered an ankle injury during the second and last leg of the 2021 World Rugby Sevens Series in Edmonton, Canada in September.

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 14: Selvyn Davids and Jeffrey Oluoch during day 1 of Round 2 of the Rugby Africa’s Sevens Solidarity Camp match between Kenya and South Africa 1 at Markotter Stadium on May 14, 2021 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Kenya Morans defeated South Africa 19-14 to lift the 2019 Tusker Safari Sevens at RFUEA Grounds.

It attracted a record number of top teams from around the world, including the 2017/18 World Series champions South Africa as well as Spain, the Russia Academy which was coached by Sevens legend Waisele Serevi, defending Champions Samurai, Seventise Rugby of France and the employers of Kenya international William Ambaka, Narvskaya Zastava from Russia.

KRU Chairman Oduor Gangla said on Monday that the Union will finalise confirmations for teams coming to Safari Sevens this week.

Read the original article on Nation.