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Kenya rugby sevens coach eyes solid
youth team, Olympic qualification

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s rugby sevens new coach Paul Murunga said here Wednesday that he is committed to building a young team that will secure Olympic ticket and dominate the World Rugby Series, which starts in Dubai on Dec. 1.

However, Murunga has ruled out beating last year’s target of 104 points, which was attained by his predecessor Innocent Simiyu.

Despite losing to Samurai in the Safari Sevens tournament early this month, Murunga is optimistic his young team will weather the storm and deliver at least 10 points in each of the two legs in Dubai and Cape Town, South Africa.

The world series is a 10-leg circuit with stops in Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton (New Zealand), Sydney, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.

“What was important for the team was to get the experience and jell together as a solid unit. The matches against Spain, Portugal and Samurai exposed and tested them. I believe our two teams were competitive and it bodes well for the two opening tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town,” said Murunga.

The coach said he will surprise many when he names his final team that will honor the World Series matches in Dubai.

Murunga singled out Eden Agero and Dennis Ombachi, who were recalled to the team as the steel on which he will tie on the silk of the young team. Kenya faces New Zealand, Russia and Ireland in Dubai tourney.

“Eden captained the team well and was our play maker. He led from the front and brought in experience alongside Ombachi and you could see the value addition to the team,” said Murunga.

Murunga says he may consider the five players, who are with national 15s side Simbas at the repechage World Cup qualifiers in Marseille, France for the second round tournament in Cape Town.

“It will depend on their fitness and if they are carrying any knocks or long term injuries,” he added.

The five players are Collins Injera, second on the World Rugby Sevens Series all-time top scorers’ chart, Nelson Oyoo, Sammy Oliech, Andrew Amonde and Willy Ambaka.



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