Stage set for Sevens kickoff

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, June 8th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kakamega High School's Derrick Ashiundu in their final match against Laiser Hill during Kenya Secondary Schools Term 1 games at Nairobi School on Saturday, April 15, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

The battle for this year’s rugby Sevens title begins today as the national Term Two A games enter Day Three at Shimo La Tewa School and Shanzu Teachers' Training College, Mombasa.

A new champion will be crowned after last year’s winners, Laiser Hill Academy of Rift Valley, failed to qualify for the nationals.

Also missing in action are finalists Upper Hill and St Peter’s Mumias, who finished third in last year’s championships, before lifting the East African title.

Maseno, Chavakali, Simotwo, Kangaru and Galana schools are the only returnees from last year’s competition and will be hoping to get it right this time after previous failed attempts.

Nairobi Region’s Muhuri Muchiri launch their second attempt at the title against Alliance Boys of Central in the opening match, before taking on Coast’s Mghalu later in the day in Group A duels.

Katuanyaa will take on Mghalu in the opener before playing Alliance.

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This will be Muhuri Muchiri’s second attempt at the title after featuring in 2015, when they finished third behind St Peter’s Mumias and Kangaru.

Muhuri Muchiri coach Kikechi Kombo said they were seeking a good start.

“Our aim is to perform better than we did in 2015. We have trained well and want to win our opening match, which will boost our confidence,” Kombo said.

Former national champions Maseno School renew their rivalry with St Joseph’s Rapogi in a repeat of Nyanza Region Group D final.

Bungoma of Western will tackle hosts Galana. Bungoma will be hoping to redeem themselves after they relinquished their 15s national title earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Athletics powerhouse Rift Valley begin their title defence this morning.

National boys' cross-country champion Rhonex Kipruto and Ivine Chepkemoi of Kimwogo High School will lead the region’s onslaught as they chase the boys' and girls' titles.