Kenya Lionesses land in Chile for World Challenger Series

Kenya Lionesses players try out the rugby pitch at new-look Jamhuri Sports Complex

Kenya Lionesses players try out the rugby pitch at new-look Jamhuri Sports Complex in Nairobi on March 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya will open their campaign against China on August 12 at 9.01pm EAT before tackling African champions South Africa at 2.37am EAT on August 13.
  • They will wrap up their pool games with a match against Chile at 5.34pm EAT on August 13.
  • Also fighting for the single ticket are Poland, Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Argentina (Pool E) and Japan, Kazakhstan, Colombia and Mexico (Pool F). 

Kenya Lionesses have landed in Chile ready to fight for honours at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series slated for August 12-14 in Santiago.

The Lionesses travelled 6,196 kilometers from Nairobi to France on Sunday at 11pm and then flew 9,774km to Peru before making a three-hour flight of 2965.84km to the Chilean capital where they arrived at 9.50am Kenyan time.

“We have just arrived. The temperature here is 16 Degree Celsius. The girls are tired and sleeping but the mood is good,” said coach Dennis Mwanja.

The Lionesses are in Pool “D” alongside continental rivals South Africa, 2014 Asian Games champion China and 2019 South American Championship bronze medalists Chile.

From the performance at Africa Women’s Sevens performance in April, the Lionesses face a huge task in their bid to bag the solitary ticket on offer for 2022-2023 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Mwanja’s charges featured in all Africa Women's Sevens finals since 2014 before putting up a lackluster performance in April this year in Jemmal, Tunisia where they finished fifth.

The 2018 African queens are looking to reach the knockout phase.

“Coming from a bad tournament in Tunisia, we are going to give a good account of ourselves as Kenya Lionesses,” said Mwanja.

“We respect them but we are not going to relax.”

Some of the dependable players on the Kenyan side are speedsters Janet “Shebesh” Okello, who turns out for MIE Pearls in Japan, and new captain Judith Auma from Impala Saracens.

Kenya will open their campaign against China on August 12 at 9.01pm EAT before tackling African champions South Africa at 2.37am EAT on August 13.

They will wrap up their pool games with a match against Chile at 5.34pm EAT on August 13.

Also fighting for the single ticket are Poland, Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Argentina (Pool E) and Japan, Kazakhstan, Colombia and Mexico (Pool F). 

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