Keep the dream alive

Kenya rugby fraternity rally behind Shujaa ahead of crunch Paris Sevens leg this weekend

Kenya Sevens are in a relegation dogfight to keep their core status in the series for next season.

In Summary

• Shujaa are currently placed 14th on the log on 27 points—two ahead of Japan.

• Kayange said the team needs to look at the positives from last week's tournament in London and use them to their strength in Paris.

Johnstone Olindi during a past Sevens tournament
Johnstone Olindi during a past Sevens tournament
Image: /COURTESY

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) fraternity has encouraged the Kenya Sevens team to 'Keep the Dream Alive' as they prepare for the last leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris this weekend.

Kenya Sevens are in a relegation dogfight to keep their core status in the series for next season. This is arguably  Shujaa's biggest tournament since gaining their core status in 2003.

Shujaa are currently placed 14th on the log on 27 points—two ahead of Japan and three behind Wales. The team that finishes last will be replaced by Ireland.

 

Shujaa have been placed in tough pool in Paris, where they face Australia, South Africa and Wales. Former Kenya 15's coach Michael 'Tank' Otieno said even though mistakes have been made in the past,  it's time to rally behind the boys in Paris this weekend.

“I wish the team all the best in Paris this weekend and I am confident they will survive the axe. We need to rally behind them and we pray they finish ahead of Japan by all means,” added Otieno.

Otieno said the union will need to critically look at various aspects of the game if the team overcomes the Paris hurdle.

“We need to look at the pre-season, strength and conditioning and player welfare and avoid tensions between the players and the union,” added Otieno.

Former Kenya Sevens skipper Humphrey Kayange said the team needs to look at the positives from last week's tournament in London and use them to their strength in Paris.

"I thought they played well against Fiji and Samoa before we unravelled against France. The team and management need to build on that and I hope it will act as an inspiration for them this weekend."

Kayange said the ideal scenario would be for Kenya to win two out of three matches on Saturday. “If that doesn't happen, then they need to win the Challenge Trophy on Sunday,” added Kayange

Former Kenya Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba expressed confidence that the team will maintain core status by a whisker this weekend.

"I'm confident the team will survive. The boys have the support of everyone in the country and I hope they will give their best to ensure we are not relegated from the World Sevens Series," he added. 

Former Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) secretary Aggrey Chabeda said it's not the time for pointing fingers at the boys as they need encouragement ahead of their fixtures this weekend. 

"There is a lot at stake for the team and for the country  and I hope the team can deliver and avoid relegation at all costs,” he noted

The Kenya Simbas, Kenya Under 20, Kenya Cup clubs  Nakuru RFC, Impala, Quins, KCB,  Nondies and  Kabras also wished Shujaa the best of luck in Paris.