SIMIYU OPTIMISTIC

Spain, Germany lead bumper entry for Safari Sevens

World Sevens series regulars Spain will be looking to win their maiden Safari title while Germany return after a six-year hiatus.

In Summary

• In the women’s category, South Africa Select, Zimbabwe, Kenya Lionesses 1 and Kenya Lionesses 2 are all in with a couple of other teams expected to confirm in the next few days.

• Shujaa will be using the tournament as preparation for the start of the World Seven Series, which kick off in Dubai next month.

Vincent Onyala of Kenya in action with Sakoyisa Makata of South Africa during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo
Vincent Onyala of Kenya in action with Sakoyisa Makata of South Africa during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo
Image: REUTERS

A total of 16 teams have confirmed participation for the Safari Sevens tournament slated for Nyayo Stadium at the end of the month.

World Sevens Series regulars Spain will be looking to win their maiden Safari title while Germany return after a six-year hiatus.

Other teams that will take part in the two-day rugby extravaganza include South Africa Allstars Sevens Academy, Zimbabwe, Uganda, former champions Samurai, Red Wailers, Stallion Sevens of Nigeria, KCB, Kenya Under-20, Shujaa and defending champions Kenya Morans.

Moran’s beat South Africa 19-7 in the 2019 final held at the RFUEA ground with the tournament cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shujaa will be using the tournament as preparation for the start of the World Seven Series, which kick off in Dubai next month.

The team resumed training last week in readiness for the Safari Sevens, which according to head coach Innocent Simiyu, will act as trials for the squad to Dubai

In the women’s category, South Africa Select, Zimbabwe, Kenya Lionesses 1 and Kenya Lionesses 2 are all in with a couple of other teams expected to confirm in the next few days.

Shujaa finished second overall in the shortened 2020-2021 season, which had only two legs — Vancouver and Edmonton ­— with South Africa winning the overall title. Simiyu said there is room for improvement when it comes to core skills like kickoff and transition to defence.

“We have some key areas to work on from the tournaments played in Canada and the Safari Sevens offers an opportunity to correct those errors,” added Simiyu.