Kenya plot to beat Cook Islands in rugby

By Metro Reporter

Kenya has made strides in Sevens rugby evolution and the team is confident to clinch a medal during the Commonwealth Games which start in Glasgow.

 

The 12 players and seven officials left Nairobi on Monday for the Scottish capital, their hard work in training camp will end on the medal podium in Glasgow. Captain Andrew Amonde said it will be a morale booster if they secured gold.

"We are all committed to the course. Playing for Kenya is a gesture nobody can pass on. We are all selected on merit and we must return the same favour and trust that the coaches and the fans have with us," Amonde said.

Kenya team dubbed "Shujaa", who were eliminated by Australia in Main Cup quarter-finals of the 2010 edition, are in Pool B alongside rivals South Africa, Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago for the rugby competition that will take place on the weekend of July 26-27 at the Ibrox Stadium.

Head coach Paul Treu has recalled veteran Oscar Ouma and Captain Andrew Amonde, who missed the final round of the 2013/14 IRB Sevens World Series due to injury, back to the team.

Ouma has replaced French-based winger William Ambaka who suffered an ankle injury ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

Kenya will open the campaign with a match against Cook Islands on Saturday. They will then face Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa to determine who progress to the Main Cup quarters.

Treu said he has opted to blend his squad to give younger players a chance to blossom and gain some experience ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.

"The focus is on Rio 2016. But we have to put our foot down and get some results in tournaments like the Commonwealth Games. Then we will be able to access the players performance and see who is best suited to play in which position," said Treu.

It will be the second major tournament for Treu, who picked up the mantle from Englishman Mike Friday last year.

In his first task in the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Series, Treu helped Kenya to finish in seventh position.

It is paramount for the team to perform well as the International Rugby Board (IRB) has picked the World Series as one of the tournaments where the first four out of the core 18 teams will make it to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"Glasgow is part of our preparations for the new IRB season and 2016 Olympics, but also a chance for us to make Kenya proud after Simba XV failed to qualify for the World Cup. It's definitely going to be a tough tournament, but being the first time for some of us to participate in a multi-sport event, we want to leave a mark," said Treu.

 

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