Lionesses boss Dennis Mwanja aiming for the stars Uruguay Challenger Series leg

Photo || Capital Sports

RUGBY Lionesses boss Dennis Mwanja aiming for the stars Uruguay Challenger Series leg

Mark Kinyanjui 16:45 - 28.02.2024

Kenya Lionesses coach Dennis Mwanja has revealed his side's ambitions after announcing the squad for the Uruguay Challenger Series leg.

Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja believes the upcoming  second leg of the Women’s Challenger Series in Montevideo, Uruguay will be a good chance for his charges to gain more exposure and also prove their Dubai Challenger series final place was not a fluke.

Like their Shujaa counterparts, the Kenyan ladies are in a strong quest to qualify for the top of Women’s sevens rugby, and are second after losing the Dubai finals to China in January.

Mwanja emphasised the significance of the challenger series, noting that it serves as a crucial precursor to the final Olympic qualifiers and an opportunity to qualify for the World Sevens Series.

 Additionally, he highlighted the exposure the team would gain and the chance to enjoy the game of rugby both on and off the pitch.

“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," said Mwanja.

“For us, it is also an opportunity to get alot of valuable exposure and also 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.

The upcoming tournament in Uruguay presents a challenging pool for the Lionesses, featuring strong opponents such as Belgium, Hong Kong, China, and Papua New Guinea. Mwanja acknowledged the tough competition but expressed the team's readiness to face it head-on.

“All those are strong opponents and we are taking it on our stride. We are not really overconfident but we are also not going to fill up numbers," he added.

As the team enters the tapering week, Mwanja outlined the focus on adjusting a couple of set-pieces and enhancing the mental aspect of the game. He emphasised that the team has covered many areas, and there is only one way to proceed – with determination and a commitment to proving their capabilities.

The Lionesses will go to Uruguay with a firm resolve to make their mark, gain valuable experience, and show that their journey to the finals was a result of hard work and a well-polished system.

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Lionesses Squad

Sheila Chajira (Captain), Naomi Amuguni, Judith Okumu, Stella Wafula, Sharon Auma, Grace Okulu, Janet Okello, Christabel Lindo, Sinaida Nyachio, Maureen Muritu, Phoebe Akinyi, Terry Ayesa