Willy Ambaka is set to hang his international boot after the Sydney sevens competition this weekend.
Ambaka, who is 32years old, confirmed this through a statement released on Thursday.
“While it has been a tremendous journey, now it is time to pull the curtains on my International Rugby 7s journey. This is why I have come to the decision that I will be playing my final leg in Sydney this season,” wrote Ambaka who went ahead to say he has achieved things he could only dream of as a toddler.
“As a schoolboy, I could only dream of achieving some of the things I have achieved. I couldn’t have imagined how many highs and lows the journey would entail, and I cherish every moment as they made me who I am.”
Nicknamed Lomu, he has captained Kenya Sevens side and was part of the side that won the 2016 Singapore 7s leg and has been instrumental for the side despite losing sight in his left eye through a rugby knock while playing in Russia in 2022.
“Whether off the pitch or on the pitch, I hold many experiences close to my heart some of which include winning the final in Singapore in 2016, playing in two Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, and three Rugby 7s World Cups.”
He also thanked various coaches and teammates who have influenced his career at various points.
” I would like to personally thank the late Benjamin Ayimba, Mike Friday, Charles Cardovillis, Edward Kinyany, Geoffrey Kimani, Damien McGrath, and, of course, my loving family. To the teams I played for in France, New Zealand, South Africa and Russia, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play and live abroad, welcoming me into your teams and allowing me to learn about different cultures whilst doing what I love,” he said.
Ambaka started his rugby rugby career at Dr Aggrey high school in Coast and later joined Kenya Harlequins in 2010 and later in 2011 he debuted for the national Kenya Sevens team at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens tournament.
He also played for the Kenya Sevens at the 2013, 2018 and 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens and also featured in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games editions.
Ambaka has also featured for international club rugby with French side Lou Rugby, Western Province in South AFrica, Counties Manakau in New Zealand and Narvskaya Zastava of Russia.
Ambaka has served the Kenya Simbas as a winger during their 2018 Rugby Africa Cup campaign which served as a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.