Nairobi - Kenyan rugby sevens star Willy Ambaka has joined
New Zealand's top provincial club Manawatu Turbos, becoming the first east
African to play professional rugby in Oceania.
Ambaka, a World rugby sevens award finalist in 2013 who has
been playing wing for Kenya, is expected to switch positions to fullback for
his new club, which has also signed former All Blacks trialist, Te Rangatira
Waitokia from another New Zealand provincial side, Wanganui.
"I am most comfortable on the right wing," Ambaka
told the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) website.
"But I'm looking at this as a learning experience. It
is always good to have a change of environment."
The 27-year-old pulled out of the Kenyan team ahead of the
Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens in April, as he was believed to have been
sorting out his visa application which had been held up by the New Zealand
This will be the third professional stint for the Kenyan,
who rose to prominence in the HSBC World Sevens series in the 2012/13 season,
having been handed his debut back in 2011.
He spent a season playing second division rugby for Lyon in
France in the 2013-2014 season and also the South African Western province
rugby union team.