on day one of the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens at Dignity Health Sports Park on 27 August, 2022 in Los Angeles, United States. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby
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Alvin Otieno and Brian Tanga return to the Shujaa squad for the fourth and fifth legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series as Damian McGrath named a 13 man team in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Brian Tanga in action during the Rugby Africa Cup Pool B match against Zambia in Nairobi on 11 July 2021 @Arigi Obiero

Commenting on their inclusions, McGrath said, “It’s good to have the experience of Alvin and Tanga back in the squad. Whilst both are a little short of sevens fitness, they bring a lot of experience and a little bit of an x-factor which is welcome.”

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 18: John Okoth of Kenya scores his team’s first try of the game during the RWC 2023 Final Qualifcation Tournament match between Hong Kong and Kenya at The Sevens Stadium on November 18, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Martin Dokoupil – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images) World Rugby via Getty Images

There are also debuts for Menengai Oilers and Simbas center John Okoth and Daystar Falcons youngster Floyd Wabwire.

“In terms of John Okoth and Floyd, it’s very exciting for the future of Kenya Sevens. John Okoth is well known to Kenya rugby followers through his exploits with the Simbas (Kenya men’s national fifteens team). He is a big, powerful, skillful player who will offset the loss of Vincent Onyala to a great degree.”

“Johnnie’s not quite sevens fit but we know that he can come and do a job in short bursts and we know as the season goes on he’s going to get better.”

“For Floyd, this is a chance to give him a taste of senior rugby, he’s trained so well. He’s come from nowhere on the National Sevens Circuit…he wasn’t picked out by the selectors but he was someone who caught my eye and he deserves this opportunity as he’s shone very well in training. He is a long way from the finished article but I think he is going to be a fixture in the sevens group for a while to come.”

With Shujaa placed in Pool A for the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand alongside Samoa, Fiji and France, McGrath said, “Hamilton’s going to be tough. As always, when you don’t do well in the tournament before, the draw is very rarely kind to you. So it would in Hamilton we’ve got what’s been described as the group of death. We’ve got Samoa, Fiji and France who are three of the real big hitters, so it’s going to be a tough ask of us in the group. However, that being said, I’m sure none of the three teams will be looking forward to playing against us based on our improvements in Dubai and Cape Town despite all the off field issues, I’m positive about how we’re gonna go on this next trip.”

The team departs on Friday 13 January at 11.55pm.

Shujaa Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru, Captain), Willy Ambaka, Herman Humwa (Kenya Harlequin), Kevin Wekesa (Kabras Sugar), Denis Abukuse (Menengai Oilers), Alvin Otieno (KCB), George Ooro (Strathmore Leos), Edmund Anya (KCB), Tony Omondi (Mwamba), Ronnie Omondi (Mwamba), Brian Tanga (Kabras Sugar), John Okoth (Menengai Oilers, debut), Floyd Wabwire (Daystar Falcons, debut)


New Zealand 7s, 21-22 January, Hamilton, New Zealand

Australia 7s, 27-29 January, Sydney, Australia

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