What you need to know:
- Kenya must have a plan for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series that includes proper funding and investment.
- They will have to source for sponsorship to keep the players active and participate in tournaments across the world.
It was a black Sunday for Kenyan rugby. For the first time in 23 years, Kenya Sevens will not take part in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Shujaa, who were first invited to the Series in 2000 before becoming a core side in 2004, have been relegated after they lost to Canada 12-7 in the relegation play-off final at the London Sevens.
Skipper Nelson Oyoo turned his markers inside out o the left wing before landing as Anthony Omondi converted to for a 7-0 lead.
Then Josiah Morra hit back for Canada on the stroke of halftime as Brock Webster added the extras to level 7-7 at the break when Kenya's talisman Kevin Wekesa limped out injured.
Shujaa broke the Canadians line of defence several times, but their physical play and wring options proved a thorn in the flesh as their rivals easily claimed turnovers.
Kenya operated with one man less after John Okoth was sin-binned for infringement as Alex Russell ploughed through on the wing to land and give Canada a 12-7 lead.
Kenya still claimed possession as they tore into the Canadians' 22 meters zone.
Despite many options to pass the ball, Jeff Oluoch opted to go physical and in the process got pinned down, failing to release the ball as the full time hooter sounded.
Canada claimed a penalty and kicked for touch as they went into celebrations at the back-drop of the crest-fallen, sobbing Kenyans players.
This is the first time Kenya is being relegated since they became a core side in the Series during 2004/2005 season.
The only time the country came close to relegation was during the 2018/2019 Series when the country finished 13th with 37 points, two places above relegation.
Canada becomes the 12th core team on the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Series, while Kenya, Uruguay and Tonga will enter their respective Regional Sevens Championships in order to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.
The relegation comes with repercussions since funding from World Rugby for tours will cease with also no top flight rugby for the players.
Kenya must have a plan for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series that includes proper funding and investment.
They will have to source for sponsorship to keep the players active and participate in tournaments across the world.