Rugby: Kenya Sevens renew rivalry with South Africa in Dubai Sevens

Ireland's Harry McNulty leads the team onto the field against Kenya at Hong Kong Sevens. [World Rugby]

Struggling Kenya Sevens will renew their rivalry with South Africa after being pooled together with the African heavyweights in Group A of the Dubai Sevens set for next month in United Arabs Emirates.

Shujaa who picked only a point in the season-opening Hong Kong Sevens have their work cut out for them in the tough group which also consists of immediate Hong Kong champions Australia and Great Britain.

Kenya had a start to forget in Hong Kong as they finished in last place after losing all five of their encounters.

The Damian McGrath-led side lost against Ireland, Argentina, and Canada in the group phase before going down to New Zealand and Uruguay in the losing playoff matches.

Australia clinched a thrilling final 20-17 to claim the Hong Kong Sevens crown and bring to an end Fiji’s dominance that had seen them take the last five titles in Hong Kong.

Shujaa finds themselves rooted at the bottom of the log after collecting only one point in the first round of the season as opponents Australia lead the 16-team series with 22 points.

Fiji have been grouped against Argentina in Group B which also consists of New Zealand and newbies Uruguay.

Uganda who have been handed the invitational ticket left open for every outing of the campaign this season are in Group C alongside France, Ireland, and Spain.
Group D has Samoa, USA, Canada, and Japan completing the teams set to compete in Dubai.

The 15th-ranked core team 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 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 a round-robin format with the top two teams then playing a final.
The winner will become the 12th core team in 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.

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Shujaa face New Zealand at Hong Kong Sevens on Friday morning
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