Kenya 7s

Kenya 7s coach on why he picked Flyod Wabwire and John Okoth for Hamilton, Sydney 7s

John Okoth of Kenya scores his team’s first try of the game during the RWC 2023 Final Qualifcation Tournament match between Hong Kong and Kenya at The Sevens Stadium on November 18, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Martin Dokoupil – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Kenya 7s head coach Damian McGrath believes Kenya Simbas and Menengai Oilers centre John Okoth can help fill the void left by Vincent Onyala.

McGrath included Okoth and Daystar Falcons Floyd Wabwire in his squad for Hamilton 7s and Sydney with the two scheduled to make their debut later this month.

Commenting on Okoth’s inclusion, the coach lauded his stature and believes the player can carry the 15s form to the shorter version and can be a replacement to Vincent Onyala who is out injured.

Okoth was Simbas top scorer is the Rugby Africa Cup and even though the coach admits he lacks sevens fitness, he is confident that player will get better as the season goes by.

“In terms of John Okoth and Floyd, it’s very exciting for the future of Kenya Sevens. John Okoth is well known to Kenya rugby followers through his exploits with the Simbas (Kenya men’s national fifteens team). He is a big, powerful, skillful player who will offset the loss of Vincent Onyala to a great degree.” McGrath said after unveiling the squad.

“Johnnie’s not quite sevens fit but we know that he can come and do a job in short bursts and we know as the season goes on he’s going to get better.”

On Floyd’s inclusion, the coach says he decided to give him a chance since he had trained well and impressed in the sessions.

Though the Daystar man was not picked by selectors to feature in the trainings after the 7s campaign , the coach says the player caught his eye hence the chance.

“For Floyd, this is a chance to give him a taste of senior rugby, he’s trained so well. He’s come from nowhere on the National Sevens Circuit…he wasn’t picked out by the selectors but he was someone who caught my eye and he deserves this opportunity as he’s shone very well in training. He is a long way from the finished article but I think he is going to be a fixture in the sevens group for a while to come.” the coach added.

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