The annual Safari Sevens tournament returns to the RFUEA grounds today following an eight-year hiatus.
The event was held at Nyayo Stadium in 2011 and 2012 and at Moi Stadium, Kasarani between 2013 and 2016.
Kenya will be represented by four teams in the two-day extravaganza. Defending champions Shujaa, Morans, national Sevens champions Homeboyz and runners up Mwamba . Shujaa and Morans will be coached by Paul Murunga.
Shujaa open their campaign against Mwamba at 11:50am in Pool ‘A’, followed by tricky tie against English side Apache at 2:50 pm and conclude their preliminary rounds against Namibia at 5:50 pm.
Morans face Uganda in their opening match at 10:44 am, battle it out against Portugal at 2:06 pm and wind up proceedings against Homeboyz at 4:44pm.
World Sevens series core side Spain are the second seeds and headline Pool ‘B’ which also features 2015 champions Samurai, Red Wailers and Emerging Uganda.
Murunga, the Kenya Sevens head coach, will be seeking to blood in new players to build on their confidence ahead of the world series opener in Dubai at the end of the month.
At the same time, this will be a trial of sorts for the players if they are to get called up to the national side for the 2018-2019 Sevens series season. “This will be two-fold. We want to build depth and expose the two young squads to intense and competitive rugby and whoever will perform will definitely get contracted for the new season,” said Murunga.
He remained optimistic of Kenya’s chances of retaining the crown. “We are at home and the fans will come to cheer us but we cannot take the participating teams for granted. They have also come to compete and we must be at our best to win the tournament,” added Murunga
Shujaa skipper Eden Agero, one of the old players in the squad said training has been good and they are relishing the challenge ahead.