World Seven series

Shujaa face familiar foes in tricky pool at Dubai Sevens

Innocent Simiyu's charges have been training for the past month and clinched the Safari Sevens crown by beating Germany 12-5 at Nyayo Stadium.

In Summary

• Shujaa will open their campaign against Mike Friday's USA on November 26, followed by a tie against Argentina and their final pool match against Spain.

• "We have had the upper against them in recent meetings but this is a new season and they will test us in all our facets of play,” said Simiyu

Jeffrey Oluoch of Kenya scores a try against USA.
Jeffrey Oluoch of Kenya scores a try against USA.
Image: REUTERS

Shujaa have been drawn in a tricky Pool 'B' for the Dubai Sevens later this month where they face Olympic bronze medallists Argentina, Spain and USA this month.

Innocent Simiyu's charges have been training for the past month and clinched the Safari Sevens crown by beating Germany 12-5  at Nyayo Stadium.

Shujaa will open their campaign against Mike Friday's USA on November 26, followed by a tie against Argentina and their final pool match against Spain.

The team had a superb outing during the previous World Series at the Edmonton and Vancouver events in September, winning silver and bronze and head coach Simiyu said the squad is building up nicely for the opening leg of the new Series.

"We had a good warm-up tournament with the Safari sevens now we focus our attention to Dubai which will be tricky considering the quality of the opposition,” said Simiyu

Shujaa struggled against Argentina in the World Rugby warm-up tournaments in Dubai and Madrid before the Olympics, losing twice to in the finals 36-19, 21-14 and 21-17 in the pool stages and Simiyu said the team must devise a way of nullifying the strengths of the South Americans.

"They are a physical side and will pose a threat when it comes to setpiece as well as the collisions. I think this round we will be much more prepared for them,” said Simiyu.

On the United States, Simiyu expected an energetic side with players with speed and are physical.

"We have had the upper against them in recent meetings but this is a new season and they will test us in all our facets of play,” said Simiyu

As for Spain, the former international said the European outfit are a team on the rise and cannot be underrated. They are a promising side and will be very competitive come Dubai.

In Pool 'A' Fiji, fresh from retaining their Olympic title in Tokyo, will battle it out with Australia, Canada and France.

In Pool 'C' 2021 Series champions South Africa will take on Ireland, Great Britain and Japan, who were promoted as HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series champions in 2020.