Top teams for Kenya Safari Sevens


Published on 12/06/2009

By FeverPitch Reporter

Thirteen teams have confirmed participation in the Tusker Safari Sevens.

The 14th edition of the Tusker Safari Sevens will be held between June 19 and 21 at the RFUEA grounds, Nairobi.

The teams for the event will be drawn from hosts Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The Kenya team, which finished sixth during the IRB Sevens series, will be the team to watch this year.

Other African nations that have confirmed participation in the event include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Botswana, Tunisia and South Africa’s Emerging Boks.

Improving sevens

The South Africans, who were the 2006 and 2007 Tusker Safari Sevens champions, lost 31-12 to Kenya in the event’s finals last year.

National Sevens team player Lavin Asego (centre) and Zimbabwean counterparts in last year’s Tusker Safari Sevens tourmanent. [PHOTOS: STAFFORD ONDEGO/STANDARD]

According to Hilary Itela, the Participation Director at the Kenya Rugby Football Union, the Tusker Safari Sevens is being developed as a platform for improving Sevens rugby in Africa.

“Teams like Tanzania, Uganda and Botswana do not play against the top international sides from around the globe regularly. But at the Tusker Safari Sevens, the teams can play against rugby heavyweights like Fiji and Samoa and sharpen their skills,” said Itela.

He added that from Europe, Bristol Select have confirmed their participation.

“Bristol have been coming to the Tusker Safari Sevens since 1996 and have been a strong supporter of the tournament,” Itela added. Other teams from Europe include Grenoble and Les Bleus. Asia will be represented in the event by Japan.

The second Kenyan team, ‘Shujaa’ are on stand by as are Namibia. “Our priority is to always give our B-side, Shujaa, an opportunity to play, these are our future players in the main team,” Itela said.

Meanwhile, members of the national rugby sevens team will grace the junior championships dubbed ‘Ndume Sevens’ at Pembroke School, Gilgil tomorrow.

Organisers of the event, Energy Source, said the senior players would train with the juniors. Elsewhere, Sports Concepts will hold School Tennis Championships at Parklands Sports Club tomorrow. The tournament aims to bring schools together besides boosting their development in tennis as well as preparing teams for the school games in August 2009.

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