Kenya name squad for Sevens World Cup

Players of Kenya wave to the fans Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Kenya head coach Innocent Simiyu has named the 12-man squad that will compete at the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco later this month.

The Kenyan team will open their campaign against Tonga on July 20th at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

"We have a very strong squad based on the training. The guys have really trained hard and we believe we have selected the best team that can represent the country," Simiyu told the media on Thursday.

"We're looking for good performances from the players and hopefully we can get some good results."

Last month, Simiyu was sacked by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) following an indiscipline issue with the team while on international duty.

However, after intervention by the government Simiyu was reinstated four days later.

"The first game against Tonga will be very critical. We have to start very well, get our game going, hit our performance standards very early, get the results that we want and proceed from there," Simiyu continued.

Simiyu added that the knock-out format, which will be used at the World Cup for the first time, will suit teams who hit their straps quickly.

"This being a knock-out means that you have to adapt very first to the chaos in the game because if the game goes it goes and you have to keep winning to stay in it," he added.

Meanwhile, one of Kenya's star players - Collins Injera - admitted that the opener against Tonga will be a tricky encounter for the Shujaa squad.

"Tonga have been a very strong side very physical as well so going to that game we just have to settle faster and execute our plays much quicker so that we get the win," Injera told KweséESPN.

Injera together with Andrew Amonde, Eden Agero and Willy Ambaka are the only players on the squad that featured in the 2013 edition of the World Cup in Moscow, Russia.

"I am happy that I have been selected and will be making my third appearance at the World Cup," Injera added. The duo of Ian Minjire and Augustine Lugonzo, who featured at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, did not make the team.

Kenya Squad

Oscar Ayodi (Captain), Collins Injera, Andrew Amonde, William Ambaka, Samuel Oliech, Nelson Oyoo, Dennis Ombachi, Jeff Oluoch, Brian Tanga, Eden Agero, Herman Humwa, Samuel Ng'ethe