Kenya go into the final leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series knowing they must stay ahead of Japan if they want to escape relegation.
The Shujaa are 14th in the standings with 27 points ahead of this weekend’s Paris Sevens, three points ahead of last-placed Japan and three behind Wales.
“As we are praying and hoping for the best, we have talked to the players and they understand the task ahead,” the Daily Nation quoted Kenya Rugby Union director of squads Ray Olendo as saying, with the official adding that the team have struggled this season because some senior players are refusing to play on reduced salaries.
“The players who agreed to come on board were young and inexperienced. However, they have picked well to blend with a few senior players, who have come back and we hope they will deliver and rescue us from relegation.”
Kenya have made two changes to the side who finished last in the HBSC World Sevens Series in London last weekend. Herman Humwa And Eden Agero have been called up to replace Dan Sikuta and Daniel Taabu for the final leg in Paris.
Ey Vice Captain @okwacha_jeffrey
— #Shujaa (@KenyaSevens) May 28, 2019
Taabu was benched owing to a groin injury while Sikuta is out with a hamstring injury.
“They have already flown back with their replacements joining the rest in Paris,” said Olendo.
Having played 42 matches with 15 tries and 157 points, Taabu is Kenya’s top try scorer this season. It is yet to be seen if his absence will influence Shujaa’s performance negatively in Paris.
Rallying his charges ahead of Paris, captain Jacob Ojee was quoted by Daily Nation saying: “We need to pick ourselves up, regroup and go in Paris. We definitely need to polish up on a few areas and manage the game better.
“The restarts were good in London but we can make them better as well as improve on our defensive shape for a better performance.”
Kenya face Australia, South Africa and Wales in Pool B in Paris.
Main photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos ,World Rugby