SUPERLEAGUE by BETIKA

Five changes in Kenya Sevens squad as Oscar Ouma, Samuel Oliech return


Five changes in Kenya Sevens squad as Oscar Ouma, Samuel Oliech return
SUPERLEAGUE by BETIKA
 
 
Oscar Ouma and Samuel Oliech have been recalled to the Kenya Sevens squad for the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2019/2020 HSBC Sevens World Series in Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada.

The duo, who last featured for Shujaa in 2017/18 season, are part of five changes made by Technical Director Paul Feeney who named the team Thursday.

Kenya had a bad outing in Hamilton and Sydney and Feeney is not taking any chances with the squad that narrowly escaped relegation last season after a number of the core team opted out of the squad last year. This was after the Kenya Rugby Union slashed their salaries and allowances by almost three quarters.

“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,” Ouma said.

Oliech who admitted that he’s not fully back to his old form is upbeat that the little shake up will breed some positive results. “(I’m) still trying to get my body used to all the training and cardio all over again but all in all, I 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 who failed to make the cut in the last trip to the Oceania due to injury and squad rotation, have also passed the fitness test this time round.

However, Bush Mwale, Geoffrey Okwach, Herman Humwa, Johnstone Olindi and Nelson Oyoo will not be part of the squad to North America.

Sikuta returns to the mix after missing the last two legs same as Dennis whi is back after successful therapy from a broken cheekbone. With Ojee back in the squad, Vincent Onyala could be de deployed at his preferred position at the longer version of the game-the center and not as a forward.

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.

Shujaa squad to Los Angeles and Vancouver

Andrew Amonde (KCB,Captain), Jeffrey Oluoch (Homeboyz), Collins Injera (Stanbic Mwamba), Daniel Taabu (Stanbic Mwamba), Billy Odhiambo (Stanbic Mwamba), Daniel Sikuta (Kabras Sugar), Oscar Ouma (Top Fry Nakuru), Oscar Dennis (Nondescripts), Samuel Oliech (Resolution Impala Saracens), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Willy Ambaka (Kenya Harlequin), Vincent Onyala (KCB), Alvin Otieno (Homeboyz)

Additional reporting by APO Group

 

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