Shujaa seek redemption at Toulouse Sevens
By Washington Onyango
| May 19th 2022 | 2 min read
Kenya Sevens will seeking to bounce back at the seventh leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, Toulouse Sevens which kicks off on Friday at the Stade Ernest-Wallon in France.
Backed with new coach Damian McGrath, Shujaa will be aiming to perform better than they did during their last outing at the Vancouver Sevenes in Canada where they collected one point.
McGrath replaced Innocent Simiyu last week after the former Shujaa player and coach was shown the door for poor results registered since the beginning of the year.
Shujaa have blown hot and cold since the beginning of the year where they have failed to go past the group stage in their last World Sevens Series three legs.
Kenya, currently ranked 10th in the latest rankings, collected one point in Malaga, eight points in Seville, five in Singapore and one point in the last leg in Vancouver, Canada.
McGrath’s first assignment will be to turn a shaky Shujaa side back to winners and competitors who not only entertain the World Rugby fans with their famous dance styles and sheer strength display on the pitch but also win matches.
The 64-year-old Briton said that it’s his desire to bring some of the success he has had with Samoa, England, Canada and Germany Sevens teams to Kenya.
“The skills are poor, I won’t hide from that. The style of play also not identifiable. It was difficult to see what they were trying to do but I am hoping that we can make some adjustments.”
“I don’t want to play in a type of way that takes away the strength of Kenyan rugby with the speed, flair and athleticism. We need to find a way where we can use that to our advantage and so I think we will try to play a game that suites that and also heavily on skill,” he said earlier.
Shujaa have been pooled in Group B where they will renew their rivalry with Tokyo Olympic champions Fiji, hosts France and Wales.
Transitioning into a new squad will be on top of his agenda and he has shown it by immediately slotting in exciting talent in the form of Blak Blad’s Archadius Khwesa and Nondescripts’s Benson Salem.
Khwesa and Salem are in line for their debuts in the squad that will be captained by Nelson Oyoo as Alvin Otieno, Timothy Mmasi and Johnstone Olindi return to the side after missing out the last two legs.
Shujaa will kick off their Group B match with a clash against Fiji from 3.34PM East African Time before facing France at night from 11.05pm. they will play their last pool match tomorrow at 3.12pm.
Toulouse Sevens Fixtures
Kenya v Fiji-3.34pm
Kenya v France-11.05pm
Kenya v Wales-3.12pm
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