Homeboyz RFC star winger Leonard Mugaisi has been ruled out for three months, owing to an ankle injury.
The Kenya Sevens international, who is known for his electrifying pace, injured his knee during the Masaku Sevens last month. Coach Paul Murunga said the initial scans had revealed a ligament damage and he is expected to be out for along time.
The injury means Mugaisi will miss the national Sevens circuit that starts next weekend, but could be back for the start of the Kenya Cup in November.
Murunga termed the injury a big blow to their hopes of winning the national circuit. “The injury has come at the worst possible time considering the Sevens circuit is just around the corner. We must dust ourselves and prepare for the circuit without him,” added Murunga.
Mugaisi was one of the few success stories of the disastrous Kenya Sevens squad last season, scoring 10 tries last season. Murunga said he has dependable players to bank on in Mugaisi’s absence including the likes of Kenya Sevens internationals Oscar Ayodi, Bush Mwale, Augustine Lugonzo and Michael Wanjala Junior. “We have good crop of players and the youngsters we have brought on board only need confidence,” he added.
Homeboyz finished second last year with 81 points and won the Driftwood Sevens. Murunga believes his charges can go all the way and win the circuit despite the injury setback to Mugaisi. “We learnt our lessons last year so we I believe we will be better prepared this year,” the tactician noted.
Murunga expects the national Sevens circuit to be competitive with a five clubs expected to be among the favourites. “I expect KCB who are the holders to be very strong. Strathmore are very consistent and have always been contenders. Mwamba have very experienced players and also Impala are a team to look out for and ourselves,” added Murunga
Elsewhere, Kenya have been seeded second and placed in Pool ‘B’ of the 2016 Africa Cup Sevens which doubles up as the African women’s Rugby Sevens Olympic qualifiers set for September 24-25 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Lionesses are in Pool ‘B’ with Tunisia, Madagascar, Senegal and Botswana while hosts South Africa headline Pool ‘A’ which also comprises Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia and Zambia. The winner of this competition will secure Africa’s sole berth at the Rio Olympics.