Shujaa coach explains squad selection, assesses opponents ahead of monumental Uruguay leg

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RUGBY Shujaa coach explains squad selection, assesses opponents ahead of monumental Uruguay leg

Mark Kinyanjui 16:24 - 28.02.2024

Kenya Sevens coach Kevin Wambua has given an insight into his squad selection and what to expect in Pool A at the 2024 Challenger Series in Uruguay next month.

Kenya Sevens head coach Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua has assessed Pool A of the upcoming Uruguay Challenger set to take place between March 8 and 10 as they seek promotion back to the top of World Sevens rugby at the first time of asking.

Wambua made five changes to the side that won in Dubai, bringing back Ben Salem of Nondies and Dennis Abukuse to the setup, while Chrisant Ojwang, Lamec Ambetsa and Elvis Olokusi have been handed their maiden call-ups.

Patrick Odongo, the top scorer with 11 tries in Dubai, has been ruled out through injury, with reserve scrum half Brian Tanga also missing out through illness.

Festus Shiasi, William Mwanji, and Brian Mutugi were the other three players dropped from the main squad.

Wambua has now explained the makeup of his squad and the side’s targets for the upcoming tournament.

“The boys are working hard. We try to improve every day as far as our systems go, our attack and defence frameworks. So far so good, just happy with the progress," said Wambua.

“It’s a bit tricky, we know and play Tonga. It is a physical side. We have never played Portugal before and we have Georgia which is a tricky side," added Wambua, while assessing his opponents ahead of the tournament.

“We will still stick to our principles. Try and top the pool, try and get to the semis and once we get to the semis, try and see if we can win again.

“It is massive. This is the second leg, one more leg then we get to the playoff competition.”

Wambua has revealed the quality his charges must possess if they are to seal a place in the playoff rounds this August.

“We just need to make sure that we are consistent. I think this is the most important tournament out of the three. We have set Dubai aside and just focused on the next one," he added.

“We  just want to stay consistent and see if we can get our performances from Dubai.

“The objective is to go back to HSBC World Sevens . The boys are confident. We know it is not easy but we know they are capable.”

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