- There were fear the team could miss out due to lack of funds
- The team has been in training for a month
- Coach Dennis Mwanja has named the travelling team
After periods of uncertainty, the Kenya Lionesses have finally managed to secure travel for the Dubai Sevens with coach Dennis Mwanja naming his travelling party.
There were fears that the team would not make it for the invitational World Series qualifier tournament due to luck of funds, with the Kenya Rugby Union struggling to raise funds for air tickets.
However the team looks to have secured funding to enable them travel to Dubai for the tournament next weekend.
Head Coach Dennis Mwanja has named the travelling squad, and the team will miss the services of Stella Wafula due to injury. He has retained most of the players that did duty at the Africa Cup qualifiers last month in Kampala.
“Stella Wafula will miss out due to an injury sustained at last month’s Rugby Africa tournament in Kampala. We are preserving her as we look at her recovery as part of our long term goal for a fit athlete,” coach Mwanja said.
Judith Okumu will captain the team to Dubai.
“We are excited ahead of the Dubai Sevens. We have prepared well and I know we will do well. We have been placed in a tough pool but we can do well looking at the standards we have set as a team,” the skipper said.
Lionesses drawn in a tough pool
The Lionesses have been drawn against Tunisia, South Africa and France Women Development. Mwanja said they are ready to battle and represent the country well, despite admitting they expect a stiff challenge. “It is going to be an exciting pool as it is a precursor to the African qualifiers for the 2024 Olympics,” the coach firther stated.
He also touched on the team’s preparation and composition, saying, “our journey has been a steady one, we are consistently learning and building. We have a fairly younger squad for this tournament”
The Lionesses have a rematch with the French Development team who defeated them in the final of the 2019 event, a fixture that the tactician looks forward to, saying, “Meeting France, which is a seasoned side, will be a very good measure for us because that is the level we aspire to reach.”
Lionesses squad to Dubai
Judith Akumu (captain), Grace Okulu, Terry Ayesa, Sinaida Mokaya, Phoebe Akinyi, Sharon Auma, Naomi Amuguni, Leah Wambui, Jean Bisela, Diana Kemunto, Christabel Lindo, Ann Goretti