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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya Sevens captain optimistic of strong show at World Rugby

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s captain Oscar Ouma said his team is under pressure to post good results at the Las Vegas and Vancouver legs of the World Rugby Sevens.

Ouma noted that their target of reaching 100 points is still valid and the next two rounds will give credence of the countries trajectory this season.

The Las Vegas 7s tournament will be held on March 2-4 while the Vancouver 7s in Canada will run from March 10-11.

“Our focus is on winning. The pressure is mounting and we must learn to deal with it. Our aim is to put up good show and be competitive against the big boys. Kenyans expect us to perform well, be consistent and that is what we need to nail down. We must record positive results,” said Ouma Monday.

The captain was buoyant saying with the return to action of Kenya’s top try scorer Collins Injera and Billy Odhiambo, the team has received a boost.

The team, which left for USA on Saturday, has hit the right form in the last two legs in Sydney and Hamilton and coach Innocent Simiyu is hopeful they will maintain the momentum in Las Vegas and Vancouver, the fifth the sixth legs of the World Series.

“We have a tough pool in Las Vegas and will be keen to start well in the opening game against France. Our main focus remains meeting our performance standards consistently and I believe that if we are able to do that, we will achieve the results that we want,” said Simiyu.

Kenya has been grouped in Pool A with Fiji, France and Russia for the USA Sevens. Simiyu will be interested in getting the team past the preliminary rounds and make the Main Cup quarters.

Injera and Odhiambo were missing from the Hamilton and Sydney legs. Injera, second on the Sevens World Series all time try scorers list, has recovered from a hamstring injury that has seen him out of action since December.

Odhiambo on the other hand is making his first show with the Kenya team after recovering from a shoulder injury. They replace Brian Tanga and Augustine Lugonzo.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Uganda Rugby team to face French Army ahead of Commonwealth Games

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- The Uganda Rugby team will face the French Army rugby side on March 2 at the Kyadondo Rugby ground, Kampala.

Ramzy Olinga, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Rugby Union (URU) told Xinhua on Monday morning that the game will help the national 7s team prepare before they head to Hong Kong for a series of qualifiers and later the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

“This is a good opportunity because the French Army have a strong rugby team and this match will be played to celebrate the French week,” added Olinga. Besides the build-up, the union will also have a 7s tournament the same day to attract about 10 teams.

Alfred Onek, the French Embassy Public Relations Officer confirmed to Xinhua that a team of the French Army will fly from France to come and play the Ugandan team.

“Last year the French Army football team played the Uganda Cranes and this year focus is on rugby,” added Onek.

Uganda Rugby Cranes coach Tolbert Onyango told Xinhua that playing the French Army team will be a big boost to test his team before they head to Hong Kong and later the Commonwealth Games.

“It is always important to have the players play as many international games as possible because it helps them prepare better,” added Onyango.

For the Commonwealth Games, Uganda who are the Africa Rugby 7s champions, are grouped alongside giants Fiji, Wales and Sri Lanka in Pool D. Uganda gained direct

           

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