Fair draw for sevens team

January 19, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, January 19 – Kenya will meet former champions England in Pool E of this year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament slated for Dubai in March.

Benjamin Ayimba’s charges will also clash with Tunisia and Hong Kong at ‘The Sevens’ stadium which will stage the fifth edition of the tournament in a draw carried out in Dubai on Monday.

Kenya qualified for their third straight World Cup after clinching first place in the Africa Zone qualifiers back in October where they beat fellow finalists Zimbabwe 26-14 in the final and Tunisia 22-12 in the semifinal.

The Safari Sevens champions are currently eighth on the 2008/2009 IRB Sevens series standings with six points following a plate final appearance in Dubai in November where they lost to Samoa and a below par performance in George a week later.

They are yet to meet with any of their Pool E adversaries in the ongoing series though Kenya knows what to expect from England and Tunisia having met them on  several occasions previously.

Kenya have already beaten England in their last three meetings the first being the memorable 17 -12 in Adelaide in 2007, 17-7 in San Diego in 2008 after they kicked them out of the changing room and 17-10 two months later gain in Adelaide.

The red rose army are currently experiencing a renaissance after a poor couple of seasons and are lying third on the IRB sevens standings with 24 points after reaching the Dubai main cup finals and the semis in George.

England won the inaugural tournament that was held in Edinburgh, Scotland back in 1993 with a side that featured rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio.

Defending champions Fiji who are coached by sevens great Waisale Serevi takes on France, United States and Georgia in Pool B.

New Zealand who lost to Fiji in the 2005 finals and won the tournament in 2001 are top seeds and face their small Pacific Ocean neighbours Tonga, hosts Arabian Gulf and Italy in Pool A.

Current IRB series leaders South Africa play Scotland, Canada and Japan in Pool C while fourth seeds Samoa are in Pool D with Australia, Portugal and Ireland.


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