Chairman Wanjala hopes new recruits will help club reclaim its glory following poor performance in 2019-20 season.
Kenya Harlequin chairman Michael Wanjala hopes their new players will bring stability to the team and once more, punish their opponents like they used to over the years.
Quins had a woeful outing last season as they struggled to match their opponents’ firepower.
The team, which is one of the most successful rugby clubs with eight Kenya Cup titles, flirted with relegation for the entire season before managing a ninth-place finish in the 12-team league with 27 points.
It was a poor showing by Kenya Harlequins’ standards and the Ngong Road-based side, in a bid to turn around their fortunes, have raided Homeboyz for the services of Kenyan internationals Joshua Chisanga, Philip Ikambili, Emmanuel Mavala as well as fly-half Evin Asena.
“I feel their experience will strengthen the young squad and help us improve on our weak areas. We shall definitely be a much improved team,” Wanjala told Standard Sports.
Quins have also signed youngster Xavier Kipng’etich from rivals Impala Saracens, while Brian Oyando and Isaac Wafula have been acquired from Administration Police and Western Bulls respectively.
“It has been long since we last won the Kenya Cup. We have immediate and long-term expectations from our new players since they are a mixture of youth and experience,” said Wanjala.
Following the departure of Dominique Habimana, Quins have also restructured their technical bench by appointing Antoine Plasman as their head coach on a two-year contract and Wanjala has backed the Belgian to hit the ground running.
“He (Plasman) has been coaching in Belgium for several years and their league is one of the most vibrant in Europe. I believe he will lay the structures for us to also perform at the highest level for more years to come,” he said.
“I know he will also bring in a lot of professionalism in the way he conducts his training programmes and we shall be looking to build on his philosophy in subsequent seasons,” he said.
Meanwhile, Impala Saracens have also been busy during the Kenya Rugby Union transfer window, bringing in five new players, including Kennedy Moseti, who has rescinded his earlier decision to quit the game.
Impala have also signed Martin Juma from USIU while Teddy Ratemo and Albert Obura have joined the club from Nakuru RFC and Strathmore Leos respectively. The Mitch Ocholla-coached team lost Samuel Motari, who has switched allegiance to Nondescripts.
The 2016 Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar have roped in Derrick Ashihundu and Teddy Akala from neighbours Western Bulls. The sugar millers have also bolstered their team by signing Aaron Adhanja from the University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine.
With uncertainty surrounding status of the next Kenya Cup season, clubs are not sure about when to hand debuts to their new arrivals.