Kenya rope in Sevens stars for World Cup playoff
SPOTLIGHT: Kenya has called up four players from its sevens team to reinforce the national squad as it prepares for a last-ditch bid to grab one of the last places at next year’s World Cup.
The repechage tournament in Marseille in November will be Kenya’s final chance to qualify for the World Cup in Japan after missing out when they finished second to eventual qualifiers Namibia during the Gold Cup, which doubled as the African round of qualifying.
The four players including former Sevens skipper Andrew Amonde will link up with teammate Willy Ambaka who joined the squad and managed to score four tries against Tunisia and Namibia in the qualifiers.
The others are flyhalf Sammy Oliech, wing Nelson Oyoo and utility back Dennis Ombachi, whose winning try against Zimbabwe helped Kenya qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“We looked at some specific positions where we thought they would be useful reinforcements so that’s basically why they are here,” assistant coach Dominique Habimana said.
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The Kenyan Simbas will be up against Canada, Germany and Hong Kong in the round-robin competition in Marseille on November 11, November 17 and November 23.
The winner will secure a ticket to compete against New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Pool B at the World Cup.