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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Injera return boosts Kenya 7s ahead
of USA and Canada series tests

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Collins Injera aims to scale the try scoring charts after returning to the Kenya 7s rugby team (know as Shujaa) for the fifth and sixth legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series in USA and Canada.

Injera missed the second, third and fourth legs of the global sevens tour in Cape Town, Sydney and Hamilton after returning home injured from the opening leg in Dubai, but recovered to be included in the 13-man touring list named by head coach Innocent Simiyu in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Shujaa leaves the country on Saturday for Las Vegas, where they will return to action in the USA 7s leg from March 2-4 before proceeding for Vancouver for the March 10-11 Canada 7s.

“We are glad to have Injera back from a hamstring injury. He has been missed. His return is a great boost to the players especially to the new call ups to the team. I have taken the team through strength and conditioning and I can confidently say Injera’s form is impressive,” Simiyu told reporters in Nairobi.

“I gauged the team in training this morning. Everyone is fit and ready to give their best in the contests,” said Simiyu, who welcomed Injera, the all-time second leading try scorer in the HSBC World Sevens series.

Kenya are still eighth on 35 points heading into Las Vegas and Vancouver after winning 10 and 12 from their last outings in Australia and New Zealand, where they made the Main Cup quarterfinals.

They are pooled against New Zealand sevens winners, Fiji, France and Russia in the USA 7s, and the return of Injera is a boost for the squad that is aiming to climb up the standings.

Injera’s Mwamba RFC teammate Billy Odhiambo, who will make his first appearance of the season after missing the opening four rounds while recovering from a shoulder injury, also made the team.

Injera and Odhiambo have taken the places of Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar RFC) and Augustine Lugonzo (Homeboyz RFC) who represented Kenya in the third and fourth legs in Sydney and Hamilton.

Oscar Ouma of Nakuru RFC will captain the team with designated skipper Oscar Ayodi still out with a nagging knee injury. Ouma replaced Ayodi, who captained the team in Dubai and Cape Town.

Simiyu said his target in USA and Canada is to go past the quarterfinals with focus to rake in 13 points apiece, and he added that this has been his aim in each of the previous legs of the series.

             

 

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