As excitement builds for this weekend’s Safari Sevens Rugby tournament, all eyes are on the current African Rugby Champions Kenya men’s National team, Shujaa and their counterparts, Kenya’s Lionesses who are ranked second in the continent.
Today, the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Board proudly announced the finalization of all preparations for a thrilling three-day rugby extravaganza, set to run from Friday through to Sunday.
KRU Chairman Sasha Mutai expressed his optimism about the tournament, “We’ve put in extensive work to prepare for Safari Sevens, ensuring it remains a key event in our rugby calendar. While it might not mirror the grandeur of the 2013 tournament, its significance in maintaining the legacy of the event is undeniable.”
The prestigious tournament is scheduled to take place at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds along Ngong Road, Nairobi, from November 17th to 19th, following a hiatus last year.
Highlighting the tournament’s impact, Mutai said, “The Safari Sevens plays a pivotal role in rugby development in Kenya, showcasing both local and international talent.
This year is particularly momentous as it kickstarts Shujaa’s journey back to the World Series and follows their Paris 2024 Olympics qualification.”
He further noted, “As a key preparatory event for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the tournament offers an invaluable platform for teams like Shujaa and the Lionesses to hone their skills for the international stage.”
Men’s teams participating include Shujaa, Morans, KCB (National 7s circuit champions), Uganda, Samurai, Germany, Red Wailers, Tropic 7s, Western Province, and SA All Stars. The women’s category features Kenya’s Lionesses 1&2, Uganda, Tuks Women, and Tropic 7s.
The involvement of these teams, especially the African squads and international powerhouses, is crucial, providing a unique opportunity to challenge the African champions on their home ground.
This year’s event has garnered impressive corporate support, with sponsors including the Ministry of Sports through Talanta Hela, Tusker, Faiba, Coca Cola, Samsung, and Rexona, among others.
Kenya Rugby Union Commercial Director, Harriet Okach, emphasized the renewed commitment to integrity, “The recent efforts to rebuild trust with our corporate partners have been a cornerstone of our strategy. We’re dedicated to upholding strong governance, aiming to restore the prestige of Kenyan rugby.”
She concluded, “The return of Safari Sevens is a landmark event for Kenyan rugby. It’s an exceptional opportunity for the sport to expand its reach both locally and internationally.”
The Safari Sevens is an annual rugby sevens tournament held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Safari Sevens is open to international representative sides, professional and amateur clubs, invitational teams, university and school teams. Rugby sevens is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven-minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40- minute halves.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) is the governing body for rugby union in Kenya. It was founded in1970 and is affiliated to Rugby Africa and the international governing body World Rugby. KRU is responsible for the running of the Kenya national rugby union team, domestic club and school rugby competitions.