Monday, 26 September 2011

Kenya Rugby 7s we have the pedigree?

With the 4th round (Kabeberi Sevens) of a 5 rounds of the Kenya Rugby 7s series over at RFUEA yesterday, the Kenya Rugby Union officials and technical team for the national 7s team are almost set on who makes the cut.
There being a change in the Kenya Rugby Union to accommodate changes in the Safari 7s tournament among other major tournaments in the rugby calendar, it will be interesting to see how the players are able to adjust and pick themselves up from last year's dismal performance at the IRB Sevens World Series circuit.

A lot has changed since the close of the season early this year, from a team of new officials to the new management team along with corporate sponsorships making positive entreaties to the game.

A provisional squad was named by new coach Mitch Ocholla and includes;

Dennis Muhanji, Kevin Keegan, Naftali Bondo, Nick Barasa, Patrice Agunda, Sydney Ashioya, Victor Oduor, William Ambaka(Quins); Collins Injera,Dennis Ombachi,Horace Otieno,Humphrey Khayange, LavinAsego, Mike Agevi ( Mwamba); Adrian Opondo, Felix Ayange, Michael Wanjala, Tony Onyango ( Strathmore); Andrew Amonde, Fabian Olando, Philip Wamae (KCB); Kennedy Moseti, Oscar Ayodi ( Homeboyz), Lawrence Buyachi, Peter Ocholla (Impala); Edwin Makori, Oscar Ouma (Nakuru); and Ben Nyambu, Charles Kanyi (Nondies).

New call-ups include Mike Agevi who completes a 3rd of the 3 rugby brothers Kayange and Injera , Adrian Opondo and Michael Wanjala of university outfit Strathmore which has been playing some of its best rugby among higher learning institutions and challenging the big boys too. It was also coached by Mitch Ocholla before his current new post.

It will be interesting to see how these players fare in the final 7s tournament in Mombasa at the Driftwood Sevens and how soon they can gel to be able to retain the Safari Sevens sponsored by Safaricom. It will be a good start to their IRB 7s calendar as we seek to get back to the top 6 7s playing nations.

During last week's announcement by Safaricom 7s of their sponsorships of the Safari Sevens, the Kenya Rugby Union Chair had the pleasure ( tongue-in-cheek...tsk, tsk, tsk) of the shift from the traditional RFUEA Grounds along Ngong Road to the Nyayo National Stadium known more for its footballing and athletics hosting than rugby.
This was not too much of a suprise given the venue hosted the Kenya v/s Zimbabwe Victoria Cup game earlier this year.
The Kenyan social media critiques went into overdrive and even launched a Facebook page The Home for Kenyan Rugby is RFUEA not Nyayo . The merits given for the move was to demystify the game and make it more appealing to the common man. It was because the RFUEA Grounds have been stretched in the last couple of years with a bulging crowd which makes it a logistical nightmare.
The KRU Chair also added that if Safari Sevens is to challenge for consideration to be added in the IRB Sevens World Series calendar, there is need for a proper venue and the sampling is to be done at Nyayo Stadium.
We made a little more scrapping and we learnt these are the figures at current IRB 7s circuit venues;

1. Gold Coast 7s: - Skilled Park (formerly Robina Stadium) : 27,400 seater
2. Dubai 7s :- The Sevens (stadium) : 50,000 seater
3. South Africa 7s :- Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium : 48,000
4. Wellington 7s:- Westpac Trust Stadium: 36,000
5. US 7s :- Sam Boyd Stadium: 36,800 expandable to 40,000
6. Hong Kong 7s :- Hong Kong Stadium: 40,000
7. Japan 7s :- Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium : 27,188
8. Edinburgh 7s :-Murrayfiedl Stadium: 67,130
9. England/London 7s: - Twickenham Stadium: 82,000

If you look at all those venues, the lowest is at 27,188 in Japan where the game is taking root just like Kenya. Most of these are designed for multi-purposes hosting more than just rugby, with 5 specifically designed to host rugby games. Hope this helps KRU in its decision to approach infrastructural developers from private and Government circles.

1 comment:

andayiseo said...

loving the new call ups esp. Tony onyango n Adrian Opondo. Guwwd stuff Guyz Well done