NAIROBI, Kenya, February 11 – The national sevens rugby team open their World Cup campaign against fellow Africans Tunisia in the second match of the tournament according to the fixtures released on Tuesday.Kenya who are in Pool E play their second match on the second day of the tournament against Hong Kong and then play former world champions England in the penultimate match of the day.
“The announcement of the match schedule marks another significant landmark in the countdown to the world’s biggest festival of international Sevens Rugby,” said International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“Supporters at the magnificent The Sevens venue will be treated to a three-day festival of world class Rugby Sevens and a welcoming festival atmosphere,” said Lapasset who is also the chairman of Rugby World Cup Limited.
Kenya last met Tunisia in the semi finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens Africa Zone qualifiers last October which Kenya won.
Benjamin Ayimba’s side is currently fine tuning itself for sevens rugby showpiece in San Diego where they are due to take part in the fourth leg of the IRB Series after reaching the main cup semi finals in Wellington on Saturday.
The Safari Sevens champions who are sixth on the IRB Sevens standings are widely considered as dark horses to win the tournament.
The women competition kicks off on day two with Oceania champions Australia and China tasked with getting the first ever Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament underway on pitch one, followed by the other Pool A match between Netherlands and France.
Wales plays Zimbabwe in the first of 98 matches to be played on three pitches at The Sevens venue with the men’s and women’s matches taking place across both pitches.
The men’s quarter finals will kick off the proceedings on Finals Day with the Bowl competition getting underway at 9:30 on pitch one, followed by the Plate and Cup encounters.
Half an hour later the women’s Bowl quarter finals will begin on pitch two, followed by the Cup last eight encounters.
The losers of the four Cup quarter finals will then contest the Plate semi finals, while the winners will kick off the Cup semi finals on pitch one at 3:24 pm.
The race for silverware continues on pitch one with the men’s and women’s Bowl and Plate finals before the destination of the Melrose Cup and Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens trophy is determined with the women’s final at 7 pm and the men’s at 7:35.
Men Sevens Draw:
Pool A: New Zealand, Tonga, Arabian Gulf, Italy.
Pool B: Fiji, France, USA, Georgia.
Pool C: South Africa, Scotland, Canada, Japan.
Pool D: Samoa, Australia, Portugal, Ireland.
Pool E: England, Kenya, Tunisia, Hong Kong.
Pool F: Argentina, Wales, Zimbabwe, Uruguay.
Pool A: Australia, Netherlands, France, China.
Pool B: England, Japan, Russia, USA.
Pool C: Canada, Brazil, Spain, Thailand.
Pool D: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Uganda.