Onyango labels Safari 7s premier Africa showpiece

Thursday October 17 2019

Desire Ayera (standing) and P Stars arrived on

Desire Ayera (standing) and P Stars arrived on Tuesday morning to acclimatise. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO 

By Deus Bugembe

Rugby Sevens Cranes coach Tolbert Onyango highly rates the Safari 7s and thinks it’s the biggest stage on the African continent when it comes to the shorter version of the game.

Onyango first played at the tournament 20 years ago with Kenya before heading west to make Uganda his home. The Kenyan born has since showed up for the showpiece as ‘Ugandan’ and returns one more time tomorrow for the competition he willingly cherishes at RFUEA Grounds, Ngong Road in Nairobi.

“In my opinion, the Safari 7s is a premium competition on the continent and you can tell by just the calibre of teams at the tournament,” said Onyango after wielding the axe to come up with his travelling squad.

Onyango’s narrative can be backed by the fact that the games will be graced by what many have labelled the greatest Sevens player of all time, Waisale Serevi, who is currently the Russia coach.

The Europeans have confirmed two sides while hosts Kenya have three, two national sides and a club in KCB, who just lifted the Floodies at Impala Club Grounds.

The cast is beefed up by the presence of Spain, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Samurai, a global invitational side and Wailers, another top European invitational side, join the fray.

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Onyango’s side has William Nkore and Nobert Okeny as newcomers while Solomon Okia gets the nod after a long spell on the side-lines that saw him face the knife.

Michael Wokorach, who retired from Test rugby keeps his skipper role while Phillip Wokorach misses out after inking a nine-month deal at Bourges XV in France.

The team left for Nairobi yesterday and arrived this morning with a light session scheduled later in the day.

Uganda is drawn in Pool A with top seeds and three time HSBC World Sevens Series champion South Africa alongside the Kenya Morans and debutants Burundi.

The games kick off today with schools, ladies and under age categories.

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