Shujaa begin Safari Sevens with a date against Zambia

By Clement Wekulo: Thursday, October 17th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Past action between Kenya and South Africa in the World Rugby Sevens Series. [File]

The Kenya national men’s rugby Sevens team, Shujaa will activate their Safari Sevens campaign against Zambia at 11:10 am on Saturday after drawing the Southern Africans in pool C.

Shujaa, who are seeking to reclaim the title they last won in 2016, will also play South African club Blue Bulls and Russia Academy in the preliminaries of the three-day tournament, which will be played at the RFUEA ground from tomorrow.

While Shujaa are expected to secure passage to the Main Cup quarter-finals, Kenya’s second-string team, Morans, faces a difficult test having been drawn in a tricky pool A alongside 2017-18 World Sevens Series champions South Africa, who have named a strong team that has their all-time top points scorer Cecil Afrika.

Uganda, regular participants at the Safari Sevens since the inaugural edition in 1996, are also in the pool together with Burundi. 

Defending champions Samurai Select, who beat Shujaa to win last year’s edition, headline pool B that also has Western Province from South Africa, Russian club Narvskaya Zastava and Red Wailers, a United Kingdom Franchise.

“We are very excited to be hosting this event because it not only showcases the talent in our country but also gives Kenyans a chance to watch other strong international teams,” Kenya Rugby Union chairman Oduor Gangla said after the Safari Sevens pools were announced yesterday.

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Proceedings will get underway tomorrow with age-grade and veterans competition before the tournament proper starts on Saturday with preliminary matches. The best two teams in each of the four pools will qualify for the Main Cup quarter-finals while the bottom two will contest for the Challenge Trophy.

Safari Sevens director Godwin Karuga assured that all systems are in place to have a successful tournament as organisers seek to bring the tournament to its former state following a low-key event last year.

“This is the first time in many years that we are having this calibre of teams at the tournament and I urge fans to turn out in large numbers and enjoy the tournament,” said Karuga.

Karuga also said no road will be closed as was the case last year because traffic will be well controlled.

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