NAIROBI, Kenya, September 17- Kenya face a daunting opening to the start of their 2012/2013 IRB World Seven Series after being drawn against Samoa, England and Spain in Group C on Monday for the opening Gold Coast 7s round in Australia.
It will be the first World Series campaign under new coach Mike Friday for the country that finished 12th in the 2011/2012 season with 40 points in an outcome that saw his predecessor, Mitch Ocholla, shown the door.
The Gold Coast 7s will run on October 13 and 14 where series champions New Zealand will headline Pool A that has South Africa, USA and Canada while last season’s runners-up Fiji are in Pool B against the hosts, Scotland and Tonga.
Argentina were drawn in Pool D up against three European sides, Wales, France and Portugal to complete the group stages of the competition that was won by Fiji last year.
Friday who was unveiled last month and formally coached England will get the chance to lay his credentials this weekend during the Safaricom Safari Sevens that run from Friday to Sunday at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
Kenya who are seeking to reclaim the title they last won in 2010 from the hands of Samoa will know their group opponents on Tuesday when the draw for the 16-team tournament is released.
On Monday, the event received Sh8.5m ($101,109) in sponsorship from pay satellite television providers SuperSport who will beam the event live on High Definition for the first time in its history.
Speaking during the ceremony, MultiChoice Kenya General Manager, Danny Muchira reiterated the company’s long-term commitment to the Kenyan market through its investment in local content and talent.
“Through our channels such as SuperSport, we shall continue making extensive investments in the production of local sport with considerable investment,” he added.
The deal will see SuperSport spend Sh7m ($83,333) with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) who are the organisers receiving the balance in cash.