NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – Legendary New Zealand sevens coach Gordon Tiejtens will be the chief guest at next month’s Safaricom Sevens.
Rugby World Cup sevens finalists Argentina are also expected to grace Africa’s premier sevens tournament to be held on from June 4-6.
“This year’s event will also see IRB seconded officials handle all fixtures at the Safaricom Sevens 2010,” Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Richard Omwela at the tournament’s media launch on Tuesday.
Omwela added that the rehabilitation of the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds was underway and will see new stands constructed, capable of seating an additional 1,500 fans, providing a bigger and better setting for one of the region’s greatest sporting and social events of the year.
Other teams expected at the 14 year old event are Grenoble, Bristol, Ponsonby, Georgia as well as African sides Zimbabwe, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Morocco.
The presence of world-class teams as well as African sides is part of a deliberate effort to showcase first class rugby to the thousands of enthusiastic fans expected to flock to the RFUEA grounds.
Defending champions, Kenya will be hard pressed to defend the main cup title they won last year after demolishing the Emerging Boks from South Africa 40-19 in the finals.
With last year’s runners up Emerging Boks leading the quality field in town, this year’s tournament promises to be a highly competitive event let alone a quality one.
David Rose, a high profile Guinness Premiership English referee will also be in the country to conduct an International Rugby Board (IRB) coaching of match officials’ courses.
Families will also not been left out either with the setting up of a family corner to enable them comfortably catch all the action.
The tournament proceedings will be aired live on leading satellite television broadcaster SuperSport, showcasing the tournament to millions of viewers on the African continent.
Terrestrial broadcaster K24 will also beam the matches live, bringing the game into the living rooms of millions of Kenyans, further raising the profile of Kenya’s fastest growing sport.
Fans will also be able to receive live updates through the tournament website as popular social networking websites Facebook and Twitter.
In its quest to leave a legacy, the hosts Kenya will lead participating teams in conducting coaching clinics that will see them impart various rugby tips to budding rugby players.