Rugby Rugby

Shujaa urged to keep fit; London, Paris 7s off

Kenya team huddle before the game against Ireland on day one of the HSBC Canada Sevens 2020 at BC Place Stadium on 7 March, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada. Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – The Kenya 7s team will not be in action until tentatively September after the World Rugby Friday announced the postponement of the London and Paris legs of the World Sevens Series in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The two legs were due to be played in May but have now been provisionally moved forward to September, joining the Hong Kong and Singapore legs that were rescheduled to October.

Shujaa, whose last action was at the Vancouver 7s in Canada on the weekend of March 7, are currently in self-isolation following a directive issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports as a precautionary measure to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Kenya 7s Technical Director, Paul Feeney urged the team to keep fit wherever they are, stating that he will use video analysis to evaluate the players.

“We have to rethink our plans going forward and as a group, we will need to have more game situation training sessions within this time. We’re looking at dividing the whole squad into different teams where they’ll play against each other and then we will have video analysis sessions to see how to improve ourselves,” Feeney underlined.

The Kenya Lionesses celebrate after winning the Africa Women’s 7s title in Gaborone, Botswana on May 27, 2018. PHOTO/KRU

The women’s counterpart, the Kenya Lionesses were also affected after a tournament they were invited -the Langford 7s that was scheduled to take place May 2-3 was also postponed indefinitely.

Head Coach Felix Oloo confirmed that the players have been given individual home exercises that will ensure they maintain their fitness as they wait to resume back to training.

“Due to the current spread of covid-19, we have been advised to sit out the group training sessions until mid-April and we fully respect this because our players’ health is paramount. Once the dust settles then we shall pick up from where we left off as we await the directive from Kenya Rugby, Rugby Africa, and World Rugby,” Oloo stated.

Elsewhere, Kenya Simbas who started their training sessions March 1, have had to stop the sessions indefinitely.

“Our preparations are now in shambles. However, with every challenge, there is an opportunity to find creative solutions. So that is what we have to do,” Kenya 15s head coach Paul Odera said.

“Our training schedules included gym work, but this is also not practical now. Free body exercises will be recommended as we will have to make the best of the situation,” he added.

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