By BS MULAVI
New Sevens head Coach Mike Friday will get a baptism by fire in the first leg of the International Rugby Board Sevens circuit in Australia.
Friday took over the reins from Mitch Ocholla at the end of last season. He launches the title campaign at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia on October 13-14. This will be his first international tournament outside the country.
The former England coach will face new test starting Friday when the Kenya team lock horns against top rugby giants at Nyayo National Stadium during the Safaricom Sevens.
Kenyan fans will get the chance to see what transformation Friday has brought to the team, which had lost its spark and glory in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit.
Kenya has been pooled alongside Friday’s former team England, world number four Samoa and a determined Spain side.
Home ground win
For the second year running, the tournament will be staged at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, where hosts Australia have been drawn against defending champions Fiji in pool play. The tournament starts on Saturday October 13. The Australians will be attempting to win a home Sevens title for the first time since 2002.
Defending HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand were placed top of Pool A and will face South Africa and North American teams – USA and Canada.
Last season’s runners-up Fiji are top of Pool B and face matches against tournament hosts Australia as well as Scotland and the regional qualifier, Tonga. Argentina were drawn top of Pool D and will face matches against three European sides in Wales, France and Portugal.
Change in Draws
In addition to draws for the first of the nine rounds, the IRB has also announced changes to the pooling system in each of the nine rounds.
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