Daniel Taabu return boosts Kenya Sevens camp

Kenya Shujaa's Daniel Taabu is tackled by Russia Academy Solovyev Aleksey (left) and Golik Pavel (right) during Tusker Safari 7s Rugby match at RFUEA grounds on October 19, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

What you need to know:

  • Kenya will be seeking to improve on last weekend’s eighth place finish.
  • Kenya coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu told Nation Sport on Tuesday that he has a fit squad to select from.

The Kenya Sevens camp has received a major boost with speedstar Daniel Taabu set to return ahead of the second leg of the 2021-2022 World Rugby Sevens Series slated for December 3-4 in Dubai.

Kenya will be seeking to improve on last weekend’s eighth place finish.

Kenya coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu told Nation Sport on Tuesday that he has a fit squad to select from.

"Taabu picked up an ankle injury early in the tournament last week and that's why he missed the last five matches. He will play in Dubai Sevens II," said Simiyu.

Simiyu said Levy Amunga is back to Nairobi because he has exams. "We travelled with 14 players, so Kelvin Wekesa will come in as player 13,” noted Simiyu.

Amunga featured in all six matches that Shujaa played in Dubai Sevens I, contributing one try and two conversions at the group stage.

The absence of Amunga opens up a chance for Kabras Sugar’s Wekesa, 21, who has been touted as the next Andrew Amonde, to make his Series debut.

The veteran Andrew Amonde, 37, retired after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. “Wekesa is still green but has shown a lot of potential to be even better than me in the future if mentored and well taken care of,” says KCB RFC man Amonde.

At Dubai Sevens I, Shujaa defeated Spain 26-12 and lost against the USA 14-7, Argentina 22-17, Great Britain 33-5 and Ireland 29-7 to finish eighth.

Other players who represented Kenya in the first of the two 12-nation Dubai events, included Billy Odhiambo, Alvin Otieno, Herman Humwa, Nelson Oyoo, Jeff Oluoch, Johnstone Olindi, Bush Mwale, Edmund Anya, Timothy Mmasi, Alvin Marube and Anthony Omondi. Taabu played against the USA in the opening match but missed the next five.

At Dubai Sevens II, Shujaa will face Australia at 8.44am, Coach Mike Friday’s USA (1.20pm) and Canada (4.46pm) in Pool “B” matches on Friday.

Standings after Dubai Sevens I: South Africa (22 points), USA (19), Argentina (17), Fiji (15), Australia (13), Great Britain (12), Ireland (11), Kenya (10), France (eight), Canada (seven), Spain (six) and Japan (five).    

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