Outgoing Kenya 7s coach Innocent Simiyu has named his final 12-man squad to do duty at the upcoming Africa 7s Cup set to be held in Monatsir, Tunisia from 13-14 October, 2018.
2018 National Sevens Circuit (NSC) Most Valuable Player and top point scorer Daniel Taabu of Mwamba and his club captain Eliakim Kichoi both made the cut and are in the squad.
They are joined by Menengai Oilers fly half Derrick Kyeoga Okisai formerly of Eldoret RFC, 2015 Prescott Cup MVP Benjamin Marshall of Nondies and Nakuru RFC flyer Gramwel Bunyasi.
Promising Brian Wahinya of Blak Blad who was part of the larger Kenya 7s setup last season also makes the squad.
In the mix with the newbies are Homeboyz captain Leonard Mugaisi and club mates Alvin Otieno and Michael Wanjala who have all been on the HSBC World Seven Series trail in recent years.
Charles Omondi who made it to three of six dream teams during the ended Sevens Circuit is also in. The Homeboyz forward was in the Kenya 7s team that beat South Africa Select 19-12 in November of 2017 to win Safland 7s in Namibia.
Herman Humwa of Harlequin, one of five player introduced to the World Sevens Series last season by Simiyu - in Dubai, and went on to feature in five of the ten legs, is part of the setup.
So is another Quin Cyprian Kuto, a utility, who top scored with seven tries at Christie Sevens in mid September.
The current 12 were picked from a slashed list of 21 that had been named towards the end of September from a provisional 44-man list for the 2018/19 season.
Missing out on the final list to Tunisia from the 21 is 2018 NSC's top try scorer Mark Wandeto of Homeboyz and team mates Johnstone Olindi and Brian Wandera.
Arcadius Khwesa of Blak Blad, 2017 NSC MVP Mark Kwemoi and Paul Mutsami (Impala Saracens), Ahmed Shaban of KCB who is still out on preseason in Cape Town, Timothy Mmasi of Masinde Muliro University and Edmund Anya of Strathmore Leos found no room in the Tunisia bound team.
Wanjala was the captain when Kenya last featured in the Africa Cup 7s at Kasarani in September of 2016. Other than Wanjala, the only other player making a return for another stab at Africa 7s is Humwa.
The squad that collected Bronze then was coached by assistant Kenya 7s coach Paul Murunga. The head coach Benjamin Ayimba was busy with the Safari 7s team that went all the way to lift the trophy.
Other than Wanjala and Humwa, Murunga's 2016 Africa 7s team had the likes of Steve Sikuta, Martin Wanjia & Greg Odhiambo (Mwamba), Lameck Dunde & Derrick Mayar (Impala Saracens), Fidel Oloo & Aluda Beda (Kabras Sugar), Kevin Keegan (Kenya Harlequin), Alex Olaba & Ginton Adongo (Strathmore Leos).
Murunga has since been appointed the new Kenya 7s coach and will be handed the mantle by Simiyu soon after the Africa 7s tournament. Simiyu's assistant Webster will be doing the same to h
Kenya is making a return to the African event his new counterpart Kevin Wambua.
The 2017 Africa 7s cup was used as a route to the World Cup Sevens held in San Francisco, USA in July. Kenya gave it a wide berth having already qualified by virtue of making the semis back in 2013.
Uganda are the back-to-back defending champions having beaten Namibia in Nairobi and Zimbabwe in Kampala in 2016 and 2017 finals, respectively.
In Tunisia Simiyu will be assisted by Will Webster. Long serving Physio Lamech Bogonko is also part of the travelling crew.
Kenya 7s squad
Eliakim Kichoi, Daniel Taabu - Mwamba
Charles Omondi, Leonard Mugaisi, Alvin Otieno, Michael Wanjala - Homeboyz
Herman Humwa, Cyprian Kuto - Kenya Harlequin
Derrick Keyoga - Menengai Oilers
Brian Wahinya - Blakblad
Benjamin Marshall - Nondies
Gramwel Bunyasi - Nakuru RFC
Management: Innocent Simiyu - Head coach, Will Webster - Assistant coach, Lamech Bogonko - Physio
Africa 7s 2018 pooling
Pool A:Kenya,Morocco, Botswana
Pool B: Uganda, Senegal, Ghana
Pool C: Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Mauritius
Pool D: Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia
Fixtures - Saturday 13 October, 2018
A Kenya v Botswana 1.00pm
B Uganda v Ghana 1.22pm
C Zimbabwe v Mauritius 1.44pm
D Madagascar v Namibia 2.06pm
A Morocco v Botswana 2.50pm
B Senegal v Ghana 3.12pm
C Tunisia v Mauritius 3.34pm
D Zambia v Namibia 3.56pm
A Kenya v Morocco 4.40pm
B Uganda v Senegal 5.02pm
C Zimbabwe v Tunisia 5.24pm
D Madagascar v Zambia 5.46pm