Willy Ambaka

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Willy Ambaka
Full name William Ambaka Ndayara
Date of birth (1990-05-14) May 14, 1990 (age 28)
Place of birth Wundanyi, Kenya
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 12 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb; 220 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Winger
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010–2013, 2015 Kenya Harlequins ()
2013–2014 Lyon 10 (30)
2014–2015 Western Province 9 (0)
2017–present Manawatu 5 (5)
Correct as of 16 October 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011–2013, 2015–present Kenya Sevens 30 (325)
Correct as of 1 August 2014

William Ambaka Ndayara (born 14 May 1990) is a Kenyan rugby union player, currently playing for the Kenyan national sevens team as well as for Manawatu in New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup. He has previously played professionally for French Rugby Pro D2 team, Lyon OU,[1] and the South African Currie Cup side, Western Province.[2][3][4] His regular position is winger.

Career[edit]

Early Career and Sevens Rugby[edit]

Ambaka started his rugby career for Kenya Harlequins in 2010. Harlequins' strength and conditioning coach, Geoffrey Kimani, recommended Ambaka to the Kenya Sevens head coach, Benjamin Ayimba. He made his debut for the national Kenya Sevens team at the 2011 Hong Kong Sevens tournament, and represented them during the 2011–12 and 2012–13 IRB Sevens World Series. Ambaka was chosen as part of the 2012–13 HSBC Sevens World Series Dream Team based on his performance that season.[5] He was one of three nominations for the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award in 2013,[6] but lost out to Tim Mikkelson of New Zealand. He also played for the Kenya Sevens at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

Ambaka was also included in the Kenya national team squad that played in the 2014 Africa Cup competition (which doubled up as a 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament),[7] but had to withdraw after suffering an ankle injury.[8]

Lyon[edit]

In 2013, Ambaka signed a professional contract with Lyon for the 2013–14 Rugby Pro D2 season,[1] becoming the first Kenyan rugby player to play for a team in the top two divisions in France.[9] He played in ten matches and scored six tries as Lyon won the title and promotion to the Top 14 for 2014–15.

Western Province[edit]

On 31 July 2014, South African Currie Cup side Western Province announced that Ambaka would join them ahead of the 2014 Currie Cup Premier Division season.[10] He was signed on the recommendation of Jerome Paarwater, the coach of the Kenya national team and former coach of Western Province.

However, shortly after arriving in Cape Town, he suffered an ankle injury and made no appearances for the team during their title-winning season.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ambaka turns professional". SportOn!. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "SA Rugby Player Profile – Willy Ambaka". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "It's Rugby Player Profile Willy Ambaka". It's Rugby. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Scoresway Player Profile Willy Ambaka". Scoresway. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Seven make new World Series Dream Team". International Rugby Board. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ambaka shortlisted for IRB Men's Sevens Player of the Year" (Press release). Kenya RFU. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Back with a mission: France-based Ambaka joins 15s side for World Cup qualifier in Madagascar". Standard Digital. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "TREU NAMES SQUAD: Coach blends experience with youth for Commonwealth". Standard Digital. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ambaka makes history as he joins Lyon". Kenya Page. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Wing Ambaka Ndayara to join WP Rugby" (Press release). Western Province. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ankle injury grounds WP flyer". Sport24. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.