Kenya Sevens forward Willy Ambaka and Poland-based back-rower Joshua Chisanga are the latest players to join the Kenya 15s side Simbas as they shape up for two crucial Africa Gold Cup games against Tunisia and Namibia on 11 and 18 August, respectively.
The two were part of the 30 plus players that attended a high-altitude training camp in Nanyuki last week.
In recent years Ambaka has played professionally in the 15s game with Lyon Olympique Universitaire (LOU) in France, Western Province in South Africa and Manawatu Turbos in New Zealand and experiences gained then could be what the Simbas technical bench are looking to tap into.
He featured in all ten legs of the 2017/18 Sevens World Series this season and was arguably the most outstanding player as he featured prominently in most leader-boards; tries (31), points (155), clean breaks (49) and runs (146).
He was the most featured player turning out in 54 of the 56 games played by Kenya across the series. He was also in the squad that featured in commonwealth games and the recently concluded World Cup Rugby Sevens.
Ambaka had been considered for 15s assignments back in 2014 as Kenya, just like this time, were chasing a place in the World Cup in qualifiers held in Madagascar. He was however dropped due to injury as other sevens stars including Humphrey Kayange, his siblings Collins Injera and Michael Agevi, as well as the skipper then Andrew Amonde joined the squad.
Chisanga, currently being housed by Polish side Orkan Sochaczew has missed out on all four games played so far this season. He returned home to nurse and injury that is easing out hence his call to the squad.
"Ambaka and Chisanga joined the rest for training with a view of making the squad for the upcoming assignments," said Simbas assistant coach Dominique Habimana to Raga House.
According to britsinkenya.com, the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) Physical Development Department delivered an acclimatization package to the Kenyan national rugby team over two sessions on Friday 27 and Sunday 29 July.
Major Warwick, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Harnden and Corporals Mills, Primus and Prophet delivered two extreme high intensity sessions that pushed the Simbas physically and mentally.
It is the Simbas second visit for a similar orientation following on the first back in mid May prior to a first leg Elgon Cup tie with Uganda.
Kenya has so far posted three straight wins in the qualifiers with wins over Morocco, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Kenya currently sits second with 12 points, three off leaders Namibia, and were the qualifiers to end today, they would go to a repechage in France in November to fight it out for a final ticket to the 2019 World Cup in Japan with Hong Kong, Canada and Germany.