Rugby Rugby

Kenyans in relatively easy Safari 7s pools

Alvin Otieno is tackled by Willy Ambaka during Shujaa’s training on Thursday, October 1. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, October 1 – Kenyan teams for this weekend’s Safari Sevens, Shujaa and Morans have been handed relatively easy pools as the hosts seek to reclaim the title they last won two years ago.

First team, Shujaa captained by Andrew Amonde are drawn in Pool A alongside South African side, Western Province, Italy and Burundi.

Morans, who will be under the tutelage of Homeboyz head coach, Paul Murunga, will battle it out with Samurai, Zimbabwe and neighbours Uganda in Pool C.

England Saxons will lock horns with Spain, 2016 Olympics hosts, Brazil and Zambia in Pool B whilst Rugby World Sevens Series core side, Portugal headline Pool D with Australia Iconz, Namibia and Newcastle Wailers.

Head coach, Benjamin Ayimba who led the class of 2010 to victory when the tournament was hosted at its traditional venue, Nairobi’s RFUEA, was confident his squads that lack seasoned players who were ruled out with injuries will prevail.

“We know it will not be easy out there because we are facing rugby nation teams like Samurai and Western Province but I have faith in the young boys who are eager to prove themselves.

“It’s long since we won the tournament so either Shujaa or Morans are capable of representing the 46 million Kenyans over the weekend,” Ayimba, who has guided Kenya to three titles between 2008-10, stated when he unveiled the squads.

Shujaa will open their campaign with first timers Burundi then entertain Italy before wrapping their group match with a mouth watering clash against Western Province.

Morans, who will be captained by Eden Agero, will be up against Zimbabwe in their first match before taking on Samurai and Uganda in a group they are favourites to qualify for Sunday’s Main Cup quarter-finals.

The 20th edition of the tournament received World Rugby approval ranking it among leading sevens tournaments globally.

All 14 visiting teams are already in the country with the guests scheduled to train at Nairobi’s St. Mary’s School.

“We have partnered with transport company, MetroTrans, who will provide transport to Kasarani at a rate of Ksh 50. They have placed 30 buses on standby and they will pick up fans from the Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi.

“Our local sides, Shujaa and Morans have been preparing for the tournament, in readiness for the competition streaming into Nairobi from different corners of the world.

This makes the 20th edition of the Safari Sevens a must attend and this is an opportunity for lovers of the game to sit back and enjoy two days of great international sevens rugby right here in Nairobi,” Kenya Rugby Union boss, Richard Omwela said in a statement.