Kenya facing serious challenges on the HSBC World Sevens Series

Kenya facing serious challenges on the HSBC World Sevens Series

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya returns to the drawing board after dismal show in the first three legs of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit. The team, which arrived on Monday in Nairobi from South Africa, had no usual pomp and dancers to receive them, as head coach Mitch Ocholla seeks to turn around a bad season from his novice players. This has prompted Kenya Rugby Union to beseech fans to exercise patience and give time the new players to gel. Kenya has only got five points from the three legs, in Australia’s Gold Coast, Dubai, South Africa, having failed to go through the group stages of the main Cup competition. The 'shujaa' find themselves ranked dead last from the 12 'core' sides that compete in all of the legs of the World Sevens Series.

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya returns to the drawing board after dismal show in the first three legs of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit.

The team, which arrived on Monday in Nairobi from South Africa, had no usual pomp and dancers to receive them, as head coach Mitch Ocholla seeks to turn around a bad season from his novice players.

This has prompted Kenya Rugby Union to beseech fans to exercise patience and give time the new players to gel.

Kenya has only got five points from the three legs, in Australia’s Gold Coast, Dubai, South Africa, having failed to go through the group stages of the main Cup competition. The 'shujaa' find themselves ranked dead last from the 12 'core' sides that compete in all of the legs of the World Sevens Series.

Speaking in Nairobi, where the sponsors Kenya Airways hosted the team, KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee urged stakeholders to give the team time to rebuild.

"We are fully behind the team and we have faith that they will become a team to reckon with, especially in the remaining rounds next year," said Muthee.

"We believe the team is special because they want to learn and improve."

Coach Mitch Ocholla, who took over from Benjamin Ayimba, came up with a relatively new squad for the first three legs of the circuit but the team flopped tremendously as compared to standards set by his predecessor.

However, the KRU has vowed their unwavering support for the side claiming they are giving time to the side to build and eventually contend for the main title in the series.

The team also got a shot in the arm with sponsors Kenya Airways pledging their support.

"We know the team can perform better, but we as the sponsors are here to support the team through every eventuality," said Kenya Airways Promotional Manager Georgina Ndiwa.

The team now has to prepare for the next two legs of the circuit in New Zealand and the United States in February.

But the Union is facing tough times with local clubs demanding the immediate release of the players to compete in the ongoing Kenya Cup League.

The sevens team have been directed to have the mandatory ten days rest after, which they will start training again for the circuit.

However clubs have different opinions about the players.

They want them to join their squads immediately for the Kenya Cup campaign, which starts in January.

"I’m clear on this issue, we are taking the sevens team very seriously and we are giving the national side precedence over club duty," said Muthee.

"I don’t think there is any club that can pay the players as much as we are currently offering them in the national set up."