Kenya coach Sevens Simiyu relishes season opener

“We have a plan,” is all Kenya Sevens coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu was able to divulge following the announcement of the draws for the first two rounds of the 2021-2022 World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.

Kenya are in Pool “B of the first leg which is scheduled for November 26-27 at The Sevens Stadium.

They will face the Eagles of USA (9:16 am), Pumas of Argentina (1:30 pm) and Leones of Spain (4:02 pm) in their group missions on day one.

Speaking to Nation Sport after World Rugby announced the pools and match schedule for the Series opener, Simiyu said: “It’s a tough pool. Anyone can come out and qualify. for the round of 16. “

He added: “We have a plan for how to play all the teams. It’s just a matter of execution.”

Kenya have met Argentina, the United States and Spain on several occasions this year, including invitational tournaments in Madrid, Dubai and Los Angeles. Shujaa struggled to escape the loss to Argentina and recorded mixed results against the United States and Spain.

Simiyu’s charges suffered losses to Argentina in both warm-up tournaments in Madrid, Spain ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The African champions lost in the final in Madrid 21-14 on February 21 and 45-7 February 27.

Simiyu is expected to reveal his tour group among the 22 players he has in training this Friday. A player definitely off the tour as Russia based William Ambaka.

“He is injured. He will be available from next year,” said Simiyu, who guided Shujaa to third place in the 2021 World Rugby Sevens Series and won the Safari Sevens in Nairobi in October.

Zeden Marrow, Austin Sikutwa, Kevin Wekesa, Archadius Kwesa, Ben Salem, Richiel Wangila, Collins Shikoli, Earnest Obat and Timothy Okwemba are among the new players in the “Namcos” squad who hope to qualify.

The impressive Alvin “Buffa” Otieno will be the Kenyan to watch in Dubai after a swashbuckling performance last season.

Meanwhile, Argentina have already selected the 14 players who will be at the Dubai Sevens.

They are Rodrigo Isgro, Matteo Graziano, German Schulz, Joaquin De La Vega, Tomas Elizalde, Santiago Alvarez, Gaston Revol, Lautaro Velez, Tomas Lizazu, Joaquin Lamas, Luciano Gonzalez, Santiago Vera, Felipe Del Mestre and Marcos Moneta.

Moneta is named to World Rugby’s Men’s Sevens Player of the Year list. The Pumas are led by Santiago Gomez Cora whose record of 230 World Rugby Sevens Series top scorer was beaten by Kenyan Collins Injera in the London Sevens 2016.

England speedster Dan Norton currently leads the Serie’s all-time best score at 354, followed by Injera with 279.

Reports from Spain indicate that the Leones Sevens, who finished ninth in Safari Sevens, are currently in a residential camp in Valladolid. Spain coach Pablo Feijoo has 24 players at his disposal, 11 of whom have never competed in the World Series.

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