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Kenyan rugby star Injera makes history at Sevens World Cup

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 tournaments.

Speaking before 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.

The 31-year-old 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 Moscow.

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.



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