Shujaa coach Murunga beefs up squad for Las Vegas, Vancouver 7s series

Herman Humwa in action for Quins during a recent match against Impala / jack owuor
Herman Humwa in action for Quins during a recent match against Impala / jack owuor

Kenya Sevens’ Paul Murunga has made four changes to the side traveling to the World Sevens Series legs in Las Vegas and Vancouver next month.

Notable inclusion in the side is forward Herman Humwa who returns after missing the Sydney and Hamilton legs. Humwa was in the squad last season that attained the highest ever points tally and had impressive performances.

Michael Agevi, who last played in 2014 under South Africa tactician Paul Treu, makes a comeback after five year hiatus alongside Homeboyz Charles Owino and Impala’s Edmund Anya. Harold Anduvate will miss out with an injury as well as Mark Wandeto while William Reeve has been rested. Murunga said he is pleased to have Agevi in the squad as he brings experience in the side. Jacob Ojee remains team captain. In Las Vegas, Kenya face an uphill task in Pool ‘B’ alongside France, Argentina and host USA but Murunga is confident his boys are equal to the task.

“We’ve faced both France and Argentina before and beaten them. If these players maintain the same energy and focus, then we can get better results against them again,” he noted. Murunga admitted that lack of experience has affected the team after they dismal performance in Sydney compared to Hamilton where they reached Challenge Trophy final. However, he is confident that with time, the players will get better. Murunga expressed confidence that he will have the senior players back in the squad in time for the Olympic qualifiers later in the year. Shujaa’s chances of securing a direct slot to Tokyo 2020 are all but over meaning they will have to go through Africa qualifiers.

Senior members of the team refused to sign new contracts given to them by KRU, leaving Murunga with no option but to use inexperienced players in the circuit.

“I expect to have some players by the time we go for the Africa qualifiers. “Everyone would love to go to the Olympics and considering Nock will cater for the cost including allowances, cash will not be an issue,” he said

He, however, said it will not be a walk in the park for the players as the young ones in the team have shown remarkable improvement. Murunga said some positions in the team might require experience from the senior players while in other areas, the young ones have stepped up performance and it will be hard to dislodge them.

“If you look at my current squad, we will still need forwards like Andrew Amonde and Oscar Ouma but on the other side, it will be hard to drop the likes of Johnstone Olindi and Daniel Taabu who have been exceptional with the team,” he added. However, Murunga said the return of some players will be a huge boost to his side as it will help as far as depth is concerned. Kenya will be taking on the likes of Uganda and Zimbabwe in the qualifiers.