NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya Sevens Rugby Team captain Oscar Ayodi is rejoicing due to the quick recovery of former captain Andrew Amonde who has been out of action for two months.
The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) forward suffered a hernia injury at the Christie Sevens which saw him undergo a successful surgery in October.
Amonde confirmed to SportPesa News on Wednesday that he has started training with KCB to build fitness ahead of the third leg of 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens series slated for Sydney, Australia on January 25-26.
“I’m also working hard not to miss the call-up for Commonwealth Games and Rugby 15s World Cup qualifiers next year,” Amonde said.
Amonde declared he is now better, ready and inspired to return to the Shujaa squad having last featured in the 2016/17 Series season-ender in Scotland.
Amonde’s return to action has been received by Ayodi and other Shujaa players with great positivity.
Ayodi admitted that the services of Amonde, who led Kenya to victory in the Singapore leg of the series last season, was greatly missed in the squad.
“Beside commanding respect in the team, Amonde has been inspirational not only to me but to the new players.
“I have learnt great leadership skills from him since I took over as national team captain. I consult him a lot whenever I am stuck with issues as he is much more experienced,” Ayodi said.
“We will work hand in hand, I will be consulting him as we head for the Sydney leg and I believe his input will be integral to our performance there,” Ayodi added.
Kenya Shujaa Team Manager, Erick Ogweno, hinted that Amonde will be the perfect replacement for Dennis Ombachi who got injured in the season opening leg in Dubai and could be out of action until March.
Ayodi said Kenya laid a benchmark in the Dubai and Cape Town that has places them in 11th place with 13 points in the current season standings.
He said Shujaa has gauged all teams in the new series and will be launching a proper assault in the subsequent legs starting with Sydney.
“We will need ample time for training if we want to register good results in Sydney, I urge my fellow players not to embrace laxity as we break for Christmas season.
“We will need total concentration, we will have to be focused mentally, this is the way to beat such a situation that befell us in Cape Town when we blew our 14-0 lead to in the opening game,” Ayodi stated.
Ayodi hailed some of the new inclusion in Shujaa squad like Samuel Njenga who was impressive in Cape Town with 15 points.
Next year will be action packed for Kenya with the World Sevens series resuming in January which will be quickly followed by the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.
Kenya will be engaged in the Sevens World Cup qualification and Rugby 15s World Championships qualifiers.