Resolution Impala’s mercurial forward Derrick Mayar is ready for the big leap to the enchanted waters of the World Rugby Sevens Series when he makes debut for Kenya Sevens at Hong Kong Sevens.
Mayar, 23, was on Friday named in coach Innocent Simiyu’s squad of 13 players for the Hong Kong Sevens due April 7-9 at the Hong Kong Stadium.
“It feels great that I have finally made to Kenya Sevens…it’s a dream come true for me,” said the former Laiser Hill Academy and Strathmore University player. “I know it’s a tough calling but Kenya has done well at previous Hong Kong Sevens events and I expect that trend to continue.”
Mayar said Kenya has a high chance of making the main Cup as they prepare to take on series leaders South Africa, Canada and France in Pool ‘B’ at Hong Kong Sevens.
Making a return after one year to Simiyu’s side is Dennis Ombachi, who is fondly remembered for scoring the decisive try that put Kenya Sevens through to Rio Olympic Games.
Ombachi, who went through a knee operation, said he is ready for a great comeback, having not given up even after a struggle with form.
“It’s all about hard work and discipline. I knew it was a matter of time before I make a return and I thank God for another opportunity,” said Ombachi. “A lot has changed since then with Kenya winning its first leg in the Series but I shall adapt.”
“Mayar has been knocking on Kenya Sevens doors and he has shown great improvement and potential,” said Simiyu. “Ombachi should bring in some new dynamics. He is a big running back and he should increase our chances of scoring.”
Others making a return are Kabras Sugar’s winger Brian Tanga, who last featured for Kenya at Sydney Sevens, the fourth leg of the World Rugby Series, and another Resolution Impala back Samuel Oliech.
While naming the team on Friday, head coach Innocent Simiyu said the players will replace injured Billy “The Kid” Odhiambo, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Ayodi.
Simiyu acknowledged that his side has not performed to expectations, missing its target of 10 points from each of the last six legs, but said they have not lost focus.
Andrew Amonde (Captain), Collins Injera, Willy Ambaka, Sammy Oliech, Eden Agero, Augustine Lugonzo, Bush Mwale, Frank Wanyama, Dan Sikuta, Brian Tanga, Nelson Oyoo, Dennis Ombachi
Officials: Eric Ogweno (Team Manager|), Innocent Simiyu (Head Coach), Francis Lameck (Physio)