Seven players will be returning to action for Shujaa at the Hong Kong and Singapore series in the World Sevens Rugby Series. The Hong Kong 7s is slated for 5th to 7th April while the Singapore 7s is to be staged on the 13th and 14th.
Coach Paul Murunga named the 12 man squad for the two Asian legs on Thursday. Skippers Andrew Amonde and Eden Agero have all returned to the squad after the duo returned to training Tuesday last week, having boycotted training in protest over slashed salaries. Amonde (Kenya Commercial Bank), who has missed the last six legs while Agero (Kenya Harlequin), captained the team in the opening legs of Dubai and Cape Town before also opting to stay away.
Apart from Amonde and Agero, other players that have made a return to the team include Augustine Lugonzo, Nelson Oyoo, Daniel Sikuta, Jeffrey Oluoch and Oscar Dennis. The seven players are joining the 2018/2019 regulars of Daniel Taabu, Vincent Onyala, Shaddon Munoko, Bush Mwale, Mark Wandeto and Johnstone Olindi. The team is skippered by Jeffrey Oluoch.
After the previously striking players came to the agreement with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), Coach Murunga said that they will have to fight for their spot in the team as he would give the players who have played this season a priority. It appears like the seven are the only ones who have caught Murunga’s attention in training.
However, four of the players who were on duty at the Las Vegas and Canada 7s picked up injuries and thus miss out on the Asian outing. Captain Jacob Ojee has academic commitments that see him sit out these two tournaments but he is expected back for the London and Paris7s legs.
The sport in the country is now turning on a new leaf and their performance in the next two legs is expected to be better than what they have done in the first half of the season. Shujaa have recorded poor performances in the played legs and are currently sitting 14th in the 18 team table. With the streak of bad days in the office, Shujaa was now threatened of relegation from the top tier.
The return of the senior players to the squad comes just days after Oduor Gangla was elected the new KRU chairman. The agreement between the union and the players was however made during Omwela’s tenure. Gangla’s predecessor thought it best to leave office after sorting the players’ woes.
More shall be expected from the team in both legs with fans hoping that the team will at least improve their position in HSBC World series table. The team leaves for Hong Kong on Monday morning.