NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Past records will mean nothing to Sevens rugby
star Collins Injera as he writes new history when he becomes the
first Kenyan to play in three consecutive Sevens World Cup
leaving for San Francisco on Monday, Injera said he is only
focused on helping Kenya claim their maiden World Cup title
after two failed attempts in 2009 and 2013.
The Kenyan top try
scorer has 272 tries in the World Rugby Sevens Series and wants
to lead from the front as Kenya launches their title campaign
against Tonga on Friday.
“Pressure is on me
to do well and help Kenya score more tries. It is not about the
history I am making, this is about a collective responsibility
that we have as a team to work hard and win the tournament.
Everyone wants Kenya to win the World Cup and we will just try
to do just that,” he said.
A total of 24 men’s
and 16 women’s teams are congregating in San Francisco for the
three day tournament. New Zealand is the defending champion in
both men’s and women’s tournaments.
Injera will make history when he takes to the field in San
Francisco as the first Kenyan player to compete in three World
Cups. He featured at the 2009 tournament in Dubai where Kenya
reached a historic first ever semifinal under then head coach
Benjamin Ayimba. He again played under coach Mike Friday in the
squad that reached a second semifinal at the 2013 tournament in
Kenya, now coached
by Innocent Simiyu, himself a veteran of two World Cups (2005
and 2009) will get their campaign underway with a pre-round
clash against Tonga. The winner will qualify for the final 16
where they will face Scotland. South Africa will be waiting in
the quarterfinal for whoever goes beyond the first two hurdles.
Fly-half Aden Agero
will be one of the four players that survived from the 2013
World Cup in Moscow, though he was never selected four years ago
to play in Russia. “For the first time you feel intimidated
playing against stronger opponents but when you realize that you
have prepared well enough you discover you are just a player
like them and then you play your game,” he said.
Rugby Africa president upbeat
continents’ four teams to win Sevens World Cup
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Rugby Africa President Abdelaziz Bougja says the continent has
strong teams that can win the Sevens World Cup, which will be
held this weekend in San Francisco, USA.
Africa will have
four teams out of the 24 that will be battling it out in the
competition. New Zealand’s men and women are the defending
champions and will be keen to do everything to retain their
titles but Bougja says it will be African team that will wrest
the crown at the end of the competition on Sunday.
Africa teams in the
competition are Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe in the
men’s competition while only South Africa will be representing
the continent in the women’s cadre.
“They are strong
teams in their own right and will fight it out and hopefully,
one of the four men’s teams will win the tournament. Kenya and
South Africa have dominated the World Series circuit and
hopefully that will be shown in the World Cup too,” said Bougja
South Africa has
been seeded top owing to their good run in the World Series.
Kenya will be number nine and will have to play in the
preliminary round against Tonga before joining the eight top
seeds. Winner of the match will meet Scotland to determine who
make it to the quarterfinals.
This will be Kenya’s
fifth consecutive Rugby World Cup Sevens appearance and former
head coach Benjamin Ayimba said the team has the capacity to
make history and win the World Cup for the first time.
“They are a strong
team better than any other before. With some luck, they will go
all the way to the Main Cup finals,” he said.
Ayimba played at
Kenya’s first ever World Cup in 2001 in Argentina and captained
the team at their second show at the 2005 event in Hong Kong.
returned as head coach in 2009 and made history as he guided the
team to finish third in Dubai in 2009.
about 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens
KAMPALA (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s national rugby team on Sunday headed out
to the United States with their coach promising to upset major
teams at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens slated to start on July
Uganda coach Tolbert
Onyango told Xinhua in an interview that he has mapped out a
strategy for their clash with Samoa in the first game on July 21
at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.
“We have watched
Samoa play and played against them before. They are a physical
side and we must counter that physicality and make sure our
defending is good,” Onyango said.
“Yes we are
underdogs going for our first World Cup. But the boys are upbeat
and looking forward to go and prove to the world that they are
good enough,” he added.
Michael Okorach, the
team captain said the team is looking forward to the
“Playing at the
World Cup is big and we must go all out to impress,” he said.
In case Uganda
defeat Samoa, they will battle England in the round of 16.
Giants South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe will be Africa’s other
representatives at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Uganda qualified for
the Rugby World Cup Sevens last year after beating Zimbabwe
22-10 to retain the Africa Sevens Rugby Cup. New Zealand are the
reigning World Cup champions.