Kenya Lionesses squad that will feature in the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series scheduled for 12-14 August 2022 has been announced.
Head Coach Dennis Mwanja has picked Judith Auma as the captain and the squad has the likes of playmaker Grace Okulu, speedster Janet Okello, Christabel Lindo, Stellah Wafula, Sinaida Nyachio and Jean Bisela.
The former Kenyan international told KRU Media after announcing the squad on Tuesday morning that:
“We are coming from a background of rebuilding the team, and also there has been a lot of transition in the team. We’ve had to pick up the pieces but I’m glad I have seen a lot of positives in the team. This is a team that is determined, focused and working with a purpose.”
“We are looking forward to a very exciting tournament in Chile. The girls know what we can achieve,” he added.
The captain on her part said: “As we head out to Chile, our expectations are high. The coach has done his job and it is our turn to do our bit.”
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World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series will return with a standalone, combined event in Santiago, Chile on 12-14 August, 2022, following a one-year break due to the global pandemic.
The 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams from all six World Rugby regions qualified via regional competitions and will compete over three days at Estadio Santa Laura with the tournament winners achieving the highly coveted core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.
The competition format replicates the Olympic Games, which sees the 12 teams drawn in to three pools of four teams each. The top two from each pool along with the two best third-placed teams will qualify for the quarter-finals, before the semi-finals and final will decide the winners who gain the ultimate prize of promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
In the women’s competition hosts Chile are in pool D where they will face opposition from China, Kenya and South Africa, who played as an invitational team in the final event of the 2022 Series in Toulouse in May.
Poland and Belgium represented themselves with distinction as invitational teams at the 2022 Series events in Malaga and Seville and will face each other in pool E alongside Argentina and Papua New Guinea. Japan have plenty of experience in the Series, including in Langford this year, and they will take on Kazakhstan, Colombia and Mexico in pool F.
The World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series was launched in February 2020 to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe. The competition acts as the promotion pathway for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with the men’s and women’s Challenger Series winners becoming a core team on the World Series for the following season.
Lionesses Challenger Series Squad
Judith Auma (Captain), Laurine Otieno, Stellah Wafulah, Linet Moraa, Grace Okulu, Leah Wambui, Sinaida Nyachio, Jean Bisela, Janet Okello, Naomi Amuguni, Christabel Lindo, Ann Gorreti Ochieng
Management: Dennis Mwanja (Head Coach), Samuel Kimotho (Assistant Coach), Ben Mahinda (Physio), Camilyne Oyuayo (Team Manager)