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SPORTS

KRU confident of hosting a successful Safari Sevens tourney

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | October 27th 2021
Alvin Otieno of Morans celebrates scoring against South Africa during their Tusker Safari Sevens 2019 tournament match at RFUEA Grounds on October 20, 2019. Morans 19-14. Photo/Stafford Ondego

Over 15 local and international teams have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s 2021 Safari Sevens at Nyayo Stadium.

As per Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) confirmation, 12 men’s teams have been registered with four women teams set to take part in the tournament which returns after a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The men’s event has attracted the 2019 Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series winners Germany who are back after seven years. Also coming to Nairobi is familiar World Rugby Sevens Series core side Spain who has faced Shujaa multiple times in the past.

The Spaniards hosted two invitational tournaments in Madrid before the 2020 Olympic Games and they will also host two Sevens Series legs in the upcoming 2021/22 season.

KRU chairman Oduor Gangla is confident of hosting a successful Safari 7s Tournament.

“Despite all the challenges brought about by Covid-19, we have managed to put together a competitive field. This year we are pleased that the event is happening,” said Gangla.

“We are also looking forward to seeing Shujaa playing, they had a good outing in Canada and the tournament is an excellent opportunity to see the next crop of stars come through the ranks. We are very confident about having an excellent event.”

Gangla also welcomed the government’s decision to allow fans back into stadiums. The ban on fans in stadiums has been in place since March 2020 when Kenya confirmed its first case of coronavirus.

KRU will admit up to 5,000 fans at Nyayo Stadium as per the latest requirements by the Ministry of Sports.

Nigeria’s national team Stallions will be making its debut at the tournament with regulars Zimbabwe and Uganda also in the mix. Morans beat South Africa 19-14 to win the last edition held in 2019.

Kenya will field four teams in the main men’s category. These are Kenya Shujaa and Kenya Morans, KCB and Kenya Under-20 which is under the tutelage of Paul Murunga.

In the women’s category, Kenya Lionesses will field two teams and will be joined by South Africa select and Zimbabwe. Uganda is also expected to participate.

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