Kenya Sevens’ fight to avoid being relegated from the World Rugby Sevens Series will continue next weekend when Shujaa battles Uruguay, New Zealand and Canada in Group A at the second last leg of the campaign, Toulouse Sevens.
Currently 13th in the standings heading into the final two legs (Toulouse and London), Kenya has to collect at least 12 points and above to stand a chance of avoiding relegation.
According to World Rugby, the 15th ranked core teams and below 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.
After naming Shujaa’s 15 man-travelling party to France, coach Damian McGrath told Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) media that everybody understands the enormity of the situation and all the players have displayed an admirable approach to training.
“We’ve picked a very solid and experienced squad, it’s as experienced as we could get. The boys all understand what is at stake, and we are just going to play to our best,” said McGrath.
“The key to it all is can we eradicate our own mistakes which has been our Achilles heel. We’ve got a very simple plan that we hope suits what we have and we’ll try and follow it through.”
Former Shujaa captain Humphrey Kayange, who is the current KRU Director in Charge of National Squads, said focus and determination will be key in France and England.
“Throughout the season we’ve had some good plays, we’ve had moments where we didn’t get lucky in terms of getting our results in. Such is the nature of sport. The main task for the team going out is to focus on Toulouse and work very hard to ensure we get results and maintain our status on the series,” said Kayange.
“The technical bench and the players really know the task at hand and they will be heading out there with their minds straight that they need to go there and play well. From our side, it’s just to offer support , offer encouragement, push them over this barrier. All we can do is to encourage them and support them through this phase.”