Kenya returns to the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens competition for the seventh time, having been part of the inaugural competition at the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they lost all their matches.
Shujaa, under the stewardship of Michael “Tank” Otieno started the first phase of the competition with two losses, going down 33-5 to Tonga before losing 28-0 to England in Group E action.
They would then be pooled in Group B for the second phase of the competition, playing against Fiji and Malaysia, losing both matches.
They began with a 71-0 loss to Fiji before Malaysia defeated them 19-5, effectively consigned to the plate competition where they exited with a 35-19 quarterfinal defeat to
On Friday, Shujaa will renew its rivalry against neighbours Uganda when they clash on Friday 11am in their opening Pool “D” match of the Commonwealth Games sevens rugby competition at Coventry Stadium, Birmingham, England.
Team head coach Damian McGrath believes they can capitalise on their manageable opponents in Uganda and Jamaica in their bid to qualify for the knockout stages of the Commonwealth Games.
McGrath said losing to any of the two would put their dreams in jeopardy albeit he is wary of underrating these opponents.
“We are a World Rugby Series team. I mean…it would be a surprise if we lost to Uganda and Jamaica. However, we have to be careful not to be overconfident against any of these teams. Friday (against Uganda) is a big day for us since we will be playing for the first time in weeks. If we can get some miles in our legs that would stand us in good stead for the rest of the tournament,” the former Canada head coach said.
Shujaa are in Pool D and in addition to their East African neighbours and Jamaica, will face pre-tournament favourites Australia on Saturday.
Kenya lost to Uganda 22-12 in the semi-finals of the Africa Rugby Sevens Cup in Kampala on April 24 .
Shujaa ended up claiming an undesired bronze after beating Zambia 19-12 in the tournament that doubled up as the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens Africa qualifier.
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