Shujaa begin relegation battle in Toulouse against Uruguay today

Kenya rugby sevens Nelson Oyoo (R) is challenged Tony Onyango during a training session.[Kelly Ayodi,Standard]

Kenya Sevens' fight to avoid relegation from the World Rugby Sevens Series will kick off today as Shujaa play Uruguay today from 2:07pm East African Time at the second last leg of the campaign, Toulouse Sevens.

Shujaa who are in Group A alongside series leaders New Zealand and Canada have to collect at least 12 points and above to stand a chance of avoiding relegation.

Currently, Kenya are 13th in the standings with 37 points, 12 points behind Uruguay heading into the final two legs in Toulouse and London.

According to World Rugby, the 15th ranked core teams and below based on accumulated series points following the tenth round in Toulouse will be relegated.

The teams ranked 12th, 13th and 14th at the end of Toulouse leg will enter a four-team relegation play-off together with the Challenger Series 2023 winners at the eleventh and final round of the series in London.

The relegation play-off will be round-robin format with the top two teams then playing a final.

The winner will become the 12th core team on the 2024 Series, while the other three teams will enter their respective Regional Sevens Championships in order to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.

Kenya Sevens captain Nelson Oyoo said they will not let Shujaa go down ahead of the last two remaining legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series to be played in Toulouse and London.

Oyoo who will captain the national sevens team again after being named in the travelling squad by head coach Damian McGrath believes they have the quality to pull themselves out of the mud.

Oyoo said they believe in themselves and will not let Kenyans down.

"Everyone in the team knows the situation we are in right now and we have to pull through in the last two legs. It has been a very competitive and challenging season for us both off and on the pitch but we will give our best.

"We cannot let the team go down yet. The quality of the squad is remarkable with some of the best players and uprising future stars in the team whom if we play according to plan and execute our set plays, I believe we can stay afloat," said Oyoo.

Shujaa coach Damian McGrath said that everybody understands the enormity of the situation and all the players have displayed an admirable approach to training.

"The key to it all is can we eradicate our own mistakes which has been our Achilles heel.

"We've got a very simple plan that we hope suits what we have and we'll try and follow it through," he said.

After playing Uruguay who are 11th on 49 points, Kenya will face leaders New Zealand at 7:16pm and then play their last pool match against Canada tomorrow from 1:21pm.

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