Vincent Onyala Headlines Shujaa Travelling Squad To Zimbabwe

12th September 2023

The Rugby Africa Men's Sevens Cup takes place this weekend 16-17 September.

Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
  • Shujaa have been grouped in Pool B alongside Zambia, Namibia and Nigeria.
  • The event doubles up as the African qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
  • The winner of the tournament will get the automatic ticket to the Paris Games.

Newly installed Kenya 7s head coach Kevin 'Bling' Wambua has named the 12-man squad that will represent the country in the Rugby Africa Men's Sevens Cup set to take place this weekend 16-17 September in Harare, Zimbabwe.

In the event that doubles up as the African qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Wambua, who was promoted to the head coach role following the parting of ways with British tactician Damian McGrath, tasked KCB’s Vincent Onyala and Tony Omondi with leading the squad.

The duo is among six regulars who make up the team to Harare, the others being Kevin Wekesa, Brian Tanga, John Okoth and George Ooro.

Wambua has given maiden call ups to six other players namely Samuel Asati and Beldad Ogeta who have been capped by Kenya at test level, Daystar Falcons flier Patrick Odongo as well as Kabras Sugar’s William Mwanji, Strathmore Leos’ Nygel Amaitsa and Festus Shiasi from KCB.

Shujaa have been grouped in Pool B alongside Zambia, Namibia and Nigeria with Pool A featuring South Africa, Madagascar, Tunisia and Ivory Coast.

Pool C comprises of Uganda, hosts Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

The team, who were relegated from the prestigious HSBC World Rugby Series for the first time in 19 years, would need to win the tournament in order to grab the single automatic ticket available to the Olympics.

Shujaa, who normally dominate that tournament having won the 2015 and 2019 editions to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and Tokyo held in 2021, will face strong challenge from the Blitzboks who missed out automatic qualification following their seventh placed finished which was outside the top four finishing teams.

It will now be the first time that the South Africans have to qualify via the Africa Cup after they have always been automatic qualifiers since Sevens was introduced at the Olympics.

The winners of the 2023 African Cup will get an automatic ticket to the Paris Olympics, while the second and third placed teams will have to go through a final qualification Repechage tournament in June 2024 whose winner will take the final spot.

Travelling Squad

Vincent Onyala, Kevin Wekesa, John Okoth, William Muhanji, George Ooro, Samuel Asati, Brian Tanga, Tony Omondi, Nygel Amaitsa, Patrick Odongo, Festus Shiasi, Beldad Ogeta.

Non-Travelling Reserves: Elvis Olukusi, Fidens Tony, Ronnie Omondi


Group A: South Africa, Madagascar, Tunisia, Ivory Coast

Group B: Kenya, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria

Group C: Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Algeria

Shujaa Pool Fixtures | Saturday 16 September

1106 | Kenya v Nigeria

1350 | Kenya v Namibia

1634 | Kenya v Zambia

Paris 2024: What you need to know

Paris 2024 will be the third Olympic event to host a rugby sevens tournament after thrilling competitions at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

The French capital will see the world’s best 288 men’s and women’s players competing at the iconic Stade de France in Saint-Denis from 24 to 30 July.

The men’s tournament will begin before the Opening Ceremony on 26 July.

The pool phase and quarterfinals are scheduled on 24 and 25 July. The semi-finals, classification matches and medal events are scheduled on 27 July.

The women’s tournament will follow from 28 July to 30 July.

Hosts France men and women have pre-qualified, while the remaining 11 nations qualify through three routes.

The top four nations excluding France at the conclusion of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 secure men's and women's spots.

An Olympic Qualification Tournament is then organized by every World Rugby Regional Association between 31 May 2023 and 31 December 2023 with the winner of each of the designated men’s and women’s tournaments earning a place at Paris 2024.

To complete the twelve-team field, the remaining men’s and women’s spot will be offered to the winner of the World Rugby Final Olympic Repechage Tournament to be held at the conclusion of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2024.