Why New York Sevens have been rescheduled

Kenya U20 players pose for a group photo at KCB Sports Club. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

After consulting with health officials and its partners at World Rugby and USA Rugby, the World Rugby Football League announced on Friday it was forced to reschedule the new league’s kick-off RFL Champion Sevens due to the worst air quality ever recorded for New York City due to Canadian wildfires, and the inability to predict when the over 400 wildfires will be controlled.

Over 100 million Americans across 16 states were under severe air quality alerts and La Guardia flights were canceled, as over 400 wildfires burned over 9 million acres across Canada according to the Canadian Emergency Forest Fires Centre.

Kenya’s Shujaa had been drawn against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the Red Pool for the inaugural NYC Sevens initially scheduled for July 15 at the Red Bull Arena in New York City, USA.

The Blue Pool consisted of Fiji, France, Ireland and the USA.

Meanwhile, a 39 man Kenya U20 squad has been in training for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Trophy taking place in Nairobi on July 15-30 at Nyayo Stadium.

Commenting on the team’s preparations, team manager Peter Mutai said: “The team has been preparing well as we work towards next month’s tournament. We have retained a core of the squad that was selected for the Barthes U20 Trophy.

“There are six new call ups to the wider training squad that will be whittled down to the final squad of 28 ahead of the tournament. The six are Ian Nyandusi, Spencer Tayghan, Anthony Okoyo, Rodgers Omanyi, Nickson Shevei and Victor Wabuto.”

Chipu are in group B alongside Hong Kong China, Spain and Samoa.

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