Shujaa heighten preparations ahead of Safari 7s rugby tourney
National men sevens rugby team, Shujaa’s head coach Innocent Simiyu is confident that his charges will successfully defend the Safari 7s title despite slight setbacks including injury concerns and losing some players to the Kenya Simbas training camp ahead of their quadrangular competition set for South Africa next month.
Speaking to People Sport after completing their half-day session at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds yesterday, the tactician was concerned by injuries on some key players who are currently on rehab after Edmonton sevens outing in Canada last month.
He, however, believes that the opportunity to expose more young players will be exciting especially on home soil following their impressive displays in training.
“Our preparations are solid though we are a bit stretched in the absence of some key players who are currently recovering after Edmonton 7s and some are with the Simbas.
We have five injury concerns but it’s an opportunity for the players to condition further for the incoming long season that will have 10 legs.” Namcos told People Sport.
Among the five injury concerns includes skipper Nelson Oyoo, play maker Johnstone Olindi and the forward duo of Jeff Oluoch and Billy Odhiambo.
The tactician, however, believes that the time is ripe for him to test more young players after an impressive training session with the new faces at RFUEA grounds where he also confirmed the sad news that influential Willy Ambaka will not be available for Safari Sevens but will join the team for the Dubai event next month.
“This has created an opportunity for us to expose more young players who have impressed at training. The players currently with the Simbas will be available after the tour while Willy Ambaka is in Russia.
We are looking at him and other key players for Dubai 7s. Our target would be to hit our performance standards with the young squad and hopefully win.” he said.
Team manager Eric Ogweno hinted that Kenya may only field one side.