Kenya Sevens squad to 2018 Sevens World Cup set for San Francisco, USA between 20-22 July has been announced by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).
Only four players have been named for a second straight World Cup appearance following up on the 2013 edition in Moscow; Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera, Eden Agero and Willy Ambaka. They were all part of coach Mike Friday's squad that made it to the semis in Russia matching results from the squad that attended the 2009 World Cup in Dubai.
Dennis Ombachi of Nondies, who was devastated after missing out on the 2013 squad, finally gets his chance as he made the cut alongside Sammy Oliech of Impala Saracens. Both players return to the squad after missing London and Paris 7s.
Herman Humwa, Jeff Oluoch and Nelson Oyoo who all made the Commonwealth games at the Gold Coast, Australia in April are also part of the squad.
Brian Tanga and Samuel Ng'ethe complete the squad that will be captained by Oscar Ayodi who missed out on the squad in 2013 alongside Robert Aringo, Davies Chenge and Philip Wamae.
In making the San Francisco bound squad, Injera is in line for a third straight World Cup. He debuted in 2009 and is the only survivor from that team. He played alongside Innocent Simiyu who is returning for yet another World Cup - not as a player - but as the Kenya 7s head Coach.
" We have a very strong squad based on training. The guys have really trained hard and we believe we have selected the best team that can represent the country. We're looking for good performances from the players and hopefully we can get some good results," said head coach Innocent Simiyu.
The innovative tournament format will see an initial knock-out qualifier featuring the nations ranked ninth to 24th, while the top eight seeds progress automatically to the round of 16.
Kenya will play Tonga in the knock-out qualifier on Friday at 11.01pm Kenyan time with the winner set to take on Scotland in the round of 16.
While Kenya 7s has enjoyed success at the HSBC World Sevens Series, Tonga is not a core-team going to the World Cup as the least ranked team at 24th.
Earlier in the week, Collins Injera spoke about Tonga saying "yes they are not a core team so it's hard to get their videos and analyse them but for us we will stick to our structures am sure we will get out with a win. They have been a very strong side very physical as well so going to that game we just have to settle faster and execute our plays much quicker so that we get the win."
In the previous Sevens World Cup held in Moscow, Russia, Kenya 7s was finished fourth. They had lost 12-5 to England in Cup semis before falling 29-5 to Fiji in third place playoff.
On their way to semis, Kenya beat France 24-19 in quarters after winning all three pool matches (17-12 vs Samoa, 31-5 vs Zimbabwe, 45-5 vs Philippines).
Kenya Sevens Squad to 2018 World Cup
1.Oscar Ayodi (Captain) 2.Collins Injera 3.Andrew Amonde 4.Willy Ambaka 5.Samuel Oliech 6.Nelson Oyoo 7.Dennis Ombachi 8.Jeff Oluoch 9.Brian Tanga 10.Eden Agero 11.Herman Humwa 12.Samuel Ngethe
1.Innocent Simiyu -coach 2.Geoffrey Kimani -SC 3.Lameck Bogonko -Physio 4.Eric Ogweno -Team manager.
2018 Sevens World Cup fixtures
Friday July 20, Pre-round of 16
1. 11.01pm Kenya vs Tonga
2. 11.23pm Canada vs Papua New Guinea
3. 11.45pm France vs Jamaica
4. 00.07am Wales vs Zimbabwe
5. 00.29am Samoa vs Uganda
6. 00.51am Russia vs Hong Kong
7. 01.13am Japan vs Uruguay
8. 1.35am Ireland vs Chile
Saturday July 21, Round of 16
9. 5.03am Scotland vs (Kenya vs Tonga)
10. 5.25am Argentina vs (Canada vs Papua New Guinea)
11. 5.47am Australia vs (France vs Jamaica)
12. 6.09am England vs (Samoa vs Uganda)
13. 6.31am New Zealand vs (Russia vs Hong Kong)
14. 6.53am Fiji vs (Japan vs Uruguay)
15. 7.15am South Africa vs (Ireland vs Chile)
16. 7.37am USA vs (Wales vs Zimbabwe)
10.26pm Loser M1 vs Loser M8
10.48pm Loser M2 vs Loser M7
11.10pm Loser M3 vs Loser M6
11.32pm Loser M4 vs Loser M5
Sunday July 22, Challenge trophy quarters
00.04am Loser M9 vs Loser M15
00.26am Loser M10 vs Loser M14
00.48am Loser M11 vs Loser M13
1.10am Loser M16 vs Loser M 12
1.32am Winner M9 vs Winner M15
1.54am Winner M10 vs Winner M14
2.16am Winner M11 vs Winner 13
2.38am Winner 16 vs Winner 12
Monday July 23, 3.49am