Revenge on Kenya’s mind as they face Uganda in opener

Kenya Sevens

Kenya sevens rugby team players Herman Humwa (left) and Alvin Otieno during a training session in Birmingham, on July 27, 2022, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Photo credit: NOC-K

What you need to know:

  • Kenya coach Damian McGrath is hoping Shujaa will make him proud at his birth place in England.

In Birmingham

Regional supremacy and revenge may come into play when Kenya face Uganda in their opening Pool “D” match of the Commonwealth Games sevens rugby competition on Friday at Coventry Stadium, Birmingham, England.

Kenya Sevens hopes to get back at the Cranes in a match that kicks off at 11am Kenyan time before they face Jamaica at 7pm.

Shujaa will then wrap up their pool outing against 2014 silver medallists Australia on Saturday from 11am as they seek a place in the Cup competition.

The quarter-finals will be played later in the evening on Saturday before the medal bracket matches on Sunday.

Kenya has featured in every “Club” Games since sevens rugby was introduced in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998 with their best ever show a Plate semi-final performances in 2010 Delhi, India and 2014 Glasgow, Scotland.

New Zealand have won every single Commonwealth Games sevens title save when they lost in the final to South Africa at Glasgow 2014.

However, they regained the title at Gold Coast 2018, and also won the women’s version for a  unique double.

Kenya Sevens skipper Nelson Oyoo noted that their set pieces, skill level and ball handling have improved over the five weeks they have been in camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“We are looking forward to making the main draw and eventually the medal bracket,” said Oyoo.

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.

Uganda captured the title beating Zimbabwe 28-0 in the final. Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya would qualify for the global event due for September 9 to 11 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Shujaa has only three surviving players from the team that competed at 2018 “Club” Games. -- Oyoo, who is making his second appearance, and William “Lomu” Ambaka and Billy “The Kid ‘’ Odhiambo who will make their third outing.

Kenya coach Damian McGrath is hoping Shujaa will make him proud at his birth place in England.


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