It's do or die for Kenya Sevens in relegation playoffs

Kenya's Kevin Wekesa (centre) in action during a match at the Toulouse Sevens last weekend. [World Rugby]

Kenya Sevens have one final chance to secure their place on the 12-team line-up for the new-look men's World Rugby Sevens Series next season.

Kenya finds themselves in the relegation play-offs for the first time in 20 years after dismal performances capped with financial challenges at the beginning of the season.

The Damian McGrath-led side risk being relegated if they don't win this weekend's play-offs.

The play-offs which will be played in a round robin format will involve Kenya, Uruguay, Canada, who finished fourth in Toulouse and Tonga, the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 champions.

The opening two matches will be played today with the final match taking place tomorrow morning.

The top two ranked teams following the initial stage will square off on Sunday evening with the winner securing the 12th and final spot on the 2024 Series.

The losers in the Series will drop to the Regional Sevens Championships where they will fight for a ticket to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.

The Challenger Series will continue to provide a pathway for teams to qualify for the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Kenya had a difficult outing in Toulouse last weekend as they lost to both Canada and Uruguay before beating USA and Japan on the final day.

Those results earned the Shujaa 13th place in France and have ensured the team travelled north to London full of hope they can retain their place in the Series.

"The boys are relaxed," captain Nelson Oyoo told World Rugby.

"They know what they need to do and what's at stake.

"I can't say there's no pressure, there's pressure, but we're trying as much as possible to keep calm and be able to tackle the task at hand."

Shujaa players are motivated by the fact that Kenya is the only team competing in the Series play-off to have beaten Tonga this year.

Tonga competed in Hamilton and Sydney as an invitational side, beating both Canada and Uruguay in the process. However, they lost to Kenya 33-19 in New Zealand before gaining their revenge across the Tasman Sea (26-24) a week later.

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