Vincent Onyala has been named in the Shujaa squad that will play at this weekend’s Rugby Africa 7s which serves as the African Qualification Tournament for the rugby sevens competition at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
Onyala sat out the better part of the 2022/23 World Rugby Sevens Series through injury and returns to co-captain the side along another experienced campaigner in Tony Omondi.
The duo is among six regulars who make up the 12-man team to Harare, the others being Kevin Wekesa, Brian Tanga, John Okoth and George Ooro.
Head Coach Kevin Wambua has given maiden call ups to six other players namely Samuel Asati and Beldad Ogeta who have been capped by Kenya at test level, Daystar Falcons flier Patrick Odongo as well as Kabras Sugar’s William Mwanji, Strathmore Leos’ Nygel Amaitsa and Festus Shiasi from KCB.
Speaking at the squad announcement on Tuesday morning in Nairobi, Wambua said, “We’ve had good preparations. We’ve had two back to back camps where we’ve taken the time to set our foundation on how we want to play. There are a few things we really wanted to improve and the camps were quite helpful. We are very grateful to St. Andrews’ Turi and look forward to more of that in the future.”
“The boys have responded well to our training sessions and I believe we are in a very good place for the qualifiers. We want to take a game at a time and play every game like a final. We have to get out of the pool stage first. We want to be in a position that sees us top the pool at the close of day one and embark on the quarters. The boys believe they can go all the way,” he added.
Commenting on the squad’s composition, Wambua said, “It is perfectly balanced, we have six players who have been in the set up and six new boys coming in. Three of the new call ups were in the setup before and the other three are first timers and it is very important that we give the boys confidence because we know they have the ability to take on the rest of Africa.”
Shujaa Pool Fixtures | Saturday 16 September
1106 | v Nigeria
1350 | v Namibia
1634 | v Zambia
*East African Time (GMT+3)
Shujaa Squad: Vincent Onyala (KCB, co-captain), Tony Omondi (Mwamba, co-captain), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), Kevin Wekesa (Kabras Sugar), John Okoth (Menengai Oilers), George Ooro (Strathmore Leos), Samuel Asati (KCB)*, Nygel Amaitsa (Strathmore Leos)*,William Mwanji (Kabras Sugar) *, Beldad Ogeta (Menengai Oilers) *, Patrick Odongo (Daystar Falcons) *, Festus Shiasi (KCB)*
Management: Kevin Wambua (Head Coach), Louis Kisia (Assistant Coach), Andrew Amonde (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Lamech Bogonko (Physio), Steven Sewe (Team Manager)
NON TRAVELLING RESERVES: Elvis Olukusi (KCB), Fidens Tony (Nondescripts), Ronnie Omondi (Mwamba)