Shujaa to renew rivalry with Fiji at Los Angeles Sevens on Saturday

Eroni Sau (L) of Fiji tries to tackle Nelson Oyoo (R) of Kenya Sevens. [Courtesy-AP]

Kenya Sevens will renew their rivalry with Fiji at the Los Angeles Sevens in the USA when the World Rugby Sevens Series reach its halfway point.

The Damian McGrath led side will face Fiji in Group C that also has Australia and Japan.

In 2016, Kenya inked themselves into the history books of the World Rugby Sevens Series after pulling off a stunning 30-7 victory over Fiji to win the Singapore Sevens, their only series leg win so far.

The match is expected to illicit more from the two sides who have been blowing hot and cold this season.

Speaking ahead of the Los Angeles Sevens opener match against Australiaon Saturday from 9.43pm local time, Shujaa head coach Damian McGrath said they have to work hard to get to safety after a poor start to the season.

Shujaa will be seeking to move further away from the World Rugby Sevens series relegation zone. They are currently 12th with 21 points, a position that will see them play in the new relegation playoffs.

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.

"We are at a crucial point in the series, we've managed to claw our way back up to within touching distance of safety and this next two-week period will give us an indication of how we are going to fare," said the former Germany Sevens tactician.

"We are in a very tough group with Fiji and Australia who are immediate stumbling blocks to getting through to a quarterfinal but it should be noted that all the teams around us are now fighting to save themselves."

"Japan, who are rock bottom, are in our group but are by no means an easy team to beat. They pushed teams close and it must be noted that they have been in the USA for two weeks preparing for this. They've also brought their development team, which just shows the type of opposition we are up against, where teams are truly high performance and looking to prepare themselves and give themselves the best opportunity of winning."

After playing Australia, Kenya will play Fiji on Sunday very early 1.18am before facing Japan at 4.31am.

This season will see the number of teams for the 2024 Series reduced from 16 to 12 to equal the number of women's teams and align with the Olympic competition structure.

The 15th ranked core team based on accumulated Series points following the tenth round in Toulouse will be relegated.

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 on 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.

Los Angeles Sevens Fixtures


Kenya v Australia-9.43pm


Kenya v Fiji-1.18am

Kenya v Japan-4.31am

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