Amonde reveals ‘surprising’ quality current crop of Shujaa players possess

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RUGBY Amonde reveals ‘surprising’ quality current crop of Shujaa players possess

Mark Kinyanjui 06:34 - 24.11.2023

Amonde has revealed the “surprising” qualities he found in the current Shujaa players since returning to the side as an assistant coach.

Kenya Sevens legend Andrew Amonde has revealed the “surprising” quality the current generation of Shujaa players have that will help return them to the upper echelons.

Amonde was appointed Shujaa’s strength and conditioning coach when the new Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) board announced it would be making changes to the side’s technical bench following relegation from the World Sevens Series.

He serves alongside head coach Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua and assistant Louis Kisia, making it his second stint with the side since his playing days as captain that saw him cement iconic status with the side.

Speaking to Pulse Sports after Shujaa managed to successfully defend their Safari Sevens title, Amonde revealed the “surprising” qualities he found with the players Wambua called up for the Africa Sevens that will bode well for the side’s future.

“When I returned, I was really surprised by what I got from them,” Amonde told Pulse Sports.

“The kind of energy they have. If you compare them to the way we started, they are a very different lot, and we have come to appreciate what they are bringing.

“They are very clear, they are very exposed, so for us, it is just to build around what they have, the exposure they bring, the learning they have, so, it is a challenge for us as a technical bench to see what they have also.”

Amonde believes that the players will form a formidable side that will represent Kenya well for future challenges ahead of a monumental 2024.

“They are boys that we want to use to come up with a team that will be able to represent us well for future challenges.”

Shujaa will be taking part in the HSBC Challenger Series in efforts to win back promotion to the World Seven Series, before they attempt to do as well as they can at the Olympics in Paris, France in August.

Amonde retired from Shujaa in 2022 at the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics.

He had been Kenya's mainstay, leading the team to their maiden cup triumph in Singapore in 2016 as well as captaining the squad to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018.

He captained Shujaa to the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia, where they finished fourth overall.

The alumni of Kisumu Boys played 358 matches, scoring 64 tries for a total of 320 points. He has 528 carries, 62 clean breaks, and 369 tackles (all-time highest for Kenya).

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