Seven things about Kenya 7s
4 months ago, 20 July 02:40
1. The inaugural World Rugby Sevens Series (then called IRB World Sevens Series) was held in 1999-2000 and Kenya featured in two legs – Dubai and Durban, as an invited team. The side lost all their matches. Their very first match was against France who crushed them 49-5.
2. The current national coach Innocent Simiyu featured for the team in the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens as a player. Kenya went on to reach the semi-final where they were eliminated by Argentina. Two other people have featured for Kenya Sevens as players before returning to coach the team. They are Benjamin Ayimba and Felix Ochieng.
3. Kenya appeared in their first Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2001 in Mar de Plate, Argentina. The team qualified after beating Zimbabwe in a tense African qualifier final held at RFUEA grounds in Nairobi in 2000. They will be making their fifth consecutive appearance at the world sevens finals in San Francisco.
4. Collin Injera is Kenya’s all-time top try scorer in international sevens with 271 strikes that puts him number two in the World Rugby Sevens Series all-time list of most tries scored, behind England’s Dan Norton on 299.
5. No one is really sure how the national team came to be called Shujaa. The name was used on a Kenya third team at the 1997 Safari Sevens, the first team of course being Kenya Sevens and the second Kenya Scorpions. The name then started being used on any Kenya sevens second team particularly at the Safari Sevens. Somehow, fans and pundits picked it up and stuck it on the team.
6. At 34, Andrew Amonde is the oldest member of the team and, naturally, one of the most experienced. He made his international sevens debut in 2008 and featured in the 2013 World Cup. He has previously captained the team, but will not skipper the team in San Francisco, the honours falling on Oscar Ayodi. Amonde lists his other profession as journalism, and certainly has a lot to write about his rich rugby history.
7. William Ambaka was Kenya’s top try scorer at the recently concluded 2017/2018 World Rugby Sevens Series with 31 touch downs. However, the Kenyan record for most tries in a season falls to Collins Injera who plundered a series high 42 in the 2008/2009 season.
Can he craft a win over the South Pacific islanders?
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