Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu says his team will perform well in the absence of World Rugby Sevens Series all-time leading try scorer Collins Injera of Mwamba and Nakuru’s Oscar Ouma.
Simiyu left out Injera and Ouma owing to form as Kenya Sevens team left the country last evening for Dubai Sevens, the opening leg of the 2016/2017 World Rugby Sevens Series due this weekend.
Also not making the squad that is a blend of experience and youth are Oscar Ayodi and Bush Mwale from Homeboyz and Impala’s Sammy Oliech.
A source at Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) disclosed that the exclusion of some players was due to discipline issues after Kenya Sevens team went on strike on Tuesday.
The players boycotted training demanding to be paid outstanding match bonuses. The team, however, resumed training on Friday after the government and KRU agreed to jointly pay the outstanding bonuses amounting to Sh23 million.
Simiyu downplayed the impasse, saying most of those dropped have form issues, having not played any matches, including the National Sevens Series and when the team toured Namibia.
“Ouma has just recovered from an illness while Injera is key to our plan but we have talked to him since he is yet to attain the targets we have set in terms of conditioning,” said Simiyu.
“Ayodi is injured while Mwale is on our non-travelling list. There is no worry since we still have quality.”
Simiyu has handed two players their maiden World Rugby Sevens Series appearance when he named his final squad of 12 players for Dubai Sevens.
Simiyu has given sensational Kenya Simbas and KCB utility back Darwin Mukidza and Kabras Sugar winger Brian Tanga
Mukidza, 28, is a previous call up to Kenya Sevens but never made it to the final team although he prominently featured for Kenya Simbas that beat Brazil and Hong Kong in international test matches.
Tanga made the team for Amsterdam Sevens in May and was in Rio Olympics Games training squad but failed to make the final cut for the Summer Games.
Andrew Amonde has been retained as skipper in the team that has regulars William Ambaka (Quins) and Billy Odhiambo (Mwamba).
Kabras Sugar’s Dan Sikuta, Martin Owila (KCB), Cyprian Kuto (Homeboyz), Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru) and Frank Wanyama (Kenya Harlequin) are making a return to the World Series.
Amonde said the impasse will not affect delivery in Dubai since had prepared well even before it happened. “We have had adequate time to prepare, having played in a satellite tournament in Namibia two weeks ago,” said Amonde.
“Everything has been resolved and the players are happy.”