The Kenya Shujaa rugby team will play hosts South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe at Stellenbosch, South Africa in a 4-team Solidarity Camp hosted by Rugby Africa between May 6 and 16.
Shujaa head coach Innocent Simiyu is geared up for the camp according to the tactician who wrapped up his first ten-day camp at the Moi International Sports centre in Kasarani, Nairobi.
“Our plan was to have 24 players but unfortunately 3 were not able to make due to family commitments. With the current situation we are in COVID and game demands, we plan to do more high performance camps. Our next camp will be in Mid-April for 2weeks before we travel to South Africa for a tournament,” Kenya sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu said in an interview with Mediamax Network Limited.
The sevens Solidarity camp will offer the four men’s national teams a platform to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics during a weekend the 2021 HSBC Sevens series will be kicked off in Paris with a women’s back to back tournaments before a long break to pave way for the Summer Olympic Games in Japan.
Hosted by Rugby Africa in Stellenbosch, Shujaa will without doubt be a key gainer as the African side that reached Madrid 7s Cup twice last month is now keen to do a cross check on the improvements and individual performances as the clock ticks down to whittle down players to 15 players for Olympic games is well underway.
The Solidarity camp will be the third confirmed encampment and first international camp for Kenya Sevens team made possible courtesy of Rugby Afrique partnered with South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) to ensure Stellenbosch offers grounds for the four African giants led by hosting Springboks, Kenya, Uganda Cranes and Zimbabwe Cheetahs.
Shujaa team manager Eric Ogweno is glad NOCK hosted the team for their first camp, views the continental contention as key in stepping up the four team’s preparations.
“We are grateful to NOCK and the Ministry of Sports and Social Development for making this happen 4 months to the Olympics. It’s unprecedented really. It came at a timely moment with the 3rd COVID wave hitting the country hard. Having the team in a controlled environment really helps a lot when such is happening.
The camp has afforded us an opportunity to step up our preparations. We’ve managed to have full day training sessions which we normally can’t do during our regular training.
Stellebosch camp is also a crucial tournament for us as well as the hosts having qualified for the Olympics but more so for Uganda and Zimbabwe who will also fight in Repechage to join us in the top flight competition in Tokyo,” Shujaa team manager Eric Ogweno told Shujaa Pride.
Shujaa players who camped in Kasarani:
1. Andrew Amonde 2. Vincent Onyala 3. William Ambaka 4. Alvin Otieno 5. Bush Mwale 6. Harold Anduvate 7. Herman Humwa 8. Jeff Oluoch 9. Timothy Mmasi 10. Daniel Taabu 11. Johnstone Olindi 12. Tony Omondi 13. Mark Kwemoi 14. Levy Amunga 15. Alvin Marube 16. Derrick Keyoga 17. Jacob Ojee 18. Nelson Oyoo 19. Eden Agero 20. Samuel Oliech 21. Billy Odhiambo