Kenyan speedster Willy Ambaka links up with Manawatu Turbos

The Manawatu Turbos have signed another outside back in Kenyan sevens player and Olympian Willy Ambaka.

Having signed Varsity fullback Te Rangatira Waitokia earlier this week, the Turbos have added another outside back to the squad.

Willy Ambaka

The 27-year-old Ambaka wants to hone his 15s skills, after showing the world what he can do in the faster version of the game.

“I’m most comfortable on the right wing, but I’m looking at this as a learning experience,” Ambaka said. “It’s always good to have a change of environment.”

Ambaka initially had visa issues, but now has been signed.

The man they call the Kenyan Lomu is no stranger to the longer version of the game, having scored six tries in 10 games for Lyon as he helped them win promotion to the French Top 14.

In 2013 he was a finalist for World Rugby’s sevens player of the year award, won by New Zealander Tim Mikkelson, and he went to the Rio Olympics with the Kenyan sevens team in 2016.

He spent a season playing division two rugby in France 2013-14 for Lyon. He also played for Western Province in South Africa’s Currie Cup before returning to the sevens circuit.

Even with all his sevens achievements, Ambaka has 15s aspirations.

“Super Rugby is definitely the goal, but I’m just really looking forward to putting in some good performances for the Turbos.”

Ambaka will play club rugby for Feilding Old Boys-Oroua and will play against Freyberg on Saturday.

 – Stuff

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