12 things you probably never knew about Kenya sevens team
1. Collins Injera – A public relations practitioner, Injera, fondly referred to as Paps by his peers, is a committed family man with two kids. His wife Chebet and daughter Chloe were at the airport to welcome him home.
He’s also an accomplished cook and he usually engages his club and country teammate Dennis Ombachi in virtual sparring on who can make the best glazed pork ribs.
2. Humphrey Kayange – Away from the rugby field, the man many refer to as Tall is a celebrated biochemist and works for Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs). He holds an MSc in Chemistry from University of Bristol in United Kingdom.
He was a part of a group students carrying out research on natural product biosynthesis, feeding studies and isolation of novel metabolites in 2014.
3. Andrew Opede Amonde – A former basketball player turned rugby player, the KCB hard man is a leader on and off the pitch. Few take note of his exploits on the pitch but he’s the cog of the team.
Former coach Mike Friday once described him as the pillar of the team where all other players get their energy from. He’s a trained TV and film production editor.
4. Samuel Oliech – The latest kid on the block. Oliech made his debut in Las Vegas in February and has gone ahead to be the play-maker of the team. The former St Mary’s School fullback is a happy go-lucky fellow, and as this article suggests, ladies are drooling at the Resolution Health Impala utility back.
5. Agustine Lugonzo – The dread-locked Homeboyz RFC player made his debut in December 2014 under South African coach Paul Treu but broke his leg in Dubai. Aga is a trained sound technician and works at Homeboyz Entertainment.
6. Lameck Bogonko – You must have seen him in locker room celebration videos in a grey tee-shirt. The soft spoken physiotherapist has been the key in the squad’s on pitch success. His work is to ensure that no player has any niggling injury and is often rushing to the pitch with his bag to attend to injured players. An unsung hero.
7. Paul Murunga – Pau is the assistant to Benjamin Ayimba and has been the key to the team’s physicality and belief. An avid inspirational figure, Pau is famous for his aggressive and passionate team talk. Anyone playing for the former KCB lock always wants to win.
8. Benjamin Ayimba – His stars are always aligned. Always on the right side of history. Benja was the coach when the team first made Main Cup finals in Adelaide in 2009. He was the coach when the team made it Sevens Rugby World Cup in Dubai in 2009. He was a member of the first ever team to make it to World Cup in 2001. And he’s delivered the first ever Main Cup for the country. Lucky boy!
9. Willy Ambaka – Willy seemed to have ditched sevens rugby for pro-rugby in France and later South Africa. But a combination of injury fate had him coming back home and re-joining Kenya Harlequins. Willy is one of the players of the 2015/2016 series with impressive stats. He was named in Singapore Sevens team of the tournament.
10. Shujaa- This team has blown hot and cold. They’ve lost 350 matches of the 629 played since they made their bow in 1999. It’s a team that narrowly qualified for Rio Olympics by beating Zimbabwe 21-17, and blew favorites Fiji 30-7 last Sunday. If only they can be consistent, we should be dancing with the greats every tour.
11. Nelson Oyoo – The Singapore Sevens match day commentator was besides himself with delight as Oyoo rounded his marker, turned on the after-burners and dashed for tryline. One of the fastest players in the team, ‘Oyuu’ was discorvered playing for Nakuru RFC in last year’s local circuit.
He would however end his series in Mombasa after he was banned for biting, ironically, his national team injera.
12. Robert Aringo – This ever smiling Resolution Impala Saracens player has been a jack of all trades. He’s been used by XV coach Jerome Paarwater as a scrumhalf, he was once used by Impala as a flanker, scrum half and centre. On the circuit, he’s mostly played as a hooker. He is Sammy Oliech’s side kick