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Shujaa seek redemption in second leg of Dubai Sevens

RUGBY By Washington Onyango | December 3rd 2021

Collins Shikoli sprints past Samuel Ekpo of St 7s Nigeria during the 23rd Edition 2021 Safari 7s tournament at the Nyayo National Stadium, Oct 31, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya Sevens team will be seeking to improve on their performances at the World Sevens Series when the Dubai Sevens second leg kicks off today at The Sevens Stadium.

Shujaa made a poor start to the 2021-2022 World 7s Series season managing only an eighth place finish during the first leg last weekend.

Kenya lost twice; against Argentina and USA, before defeating Spain in their Group B encounters before scrapping through to the knockout stage courtesy of best-loser position.

And after a week’s rest, Shujaa will be hoping to learn from the mistakes in the first leg and make a stronger start to this weekend’s action.

Kenya are in Group B where they will renew rivalry with Mike Friday’s USA who defeated them last week, Australia and Canada

Innocent Simiyu’s charges will start the campaign with a match against Australia at 8:44am East African Time.

Shujaa’s second match will be against USA at 1:20pm in what will be a repeat of last week’s Pool B match that USA won 14-7.

Kenya will end their Pool stage matches at 4:46pm with a match against Canada.

Much is still expected from Simiyu’s men especially after completing the two-leg 2021 Series in third place behind champions South Africa and runners-up Great Britain.

Meanwhile, Shujaa received a major boost with speedstar Daniel Taabu set to return ahead of the second leg.

Taabu had picked up an ankle injury early in the tournament last week and missed the last five matches but is expected back.

Kabras Sugar’s rising star Kevin Wekesa is also set to make his Kenya Sevens debut after joining up with the squad on Thursday from Kakamega.

Wekesa, 21, will replace Levy Amunga who featured for Shujaa last week. Amunga flew back to Nairobi for exams.

“I am excited at the opportunity of donning the national colours. It is a good experience that comes with playing for Kenya and I feel honored to be given a chance to represent my country,” said Wekesa.

The second tournament scheduled for Dubai’s Sevens Stadium will also have 12 teams featuring.

After winning Dubai 7s first leg, South Africa are in Pool A and will face off with Great Britain, Ireland, and Japan.

The final pool consists of Dubai 7s Bronze winners Argentina, Fiji, France, and Spain. 

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