Belgium in Nairobi for Safaricom Sevens tournament
17 September 2013, 20:36
Nairobi - Belgium was the first team to arrive in Nairobi for this year's Safaricom Sevens rugby tournament, which has attracted 10 foreign teams, and will be held from Sept. 20-22.
Host Kenya face a litmus test, ahead of their unveiling of new coach, as they have to conquer their opponents to lift the title at home, which will set them on the path to success at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Series.
Belgium arrived on Monday for the 18th edition of the Safaricom Sevens. The Belgians recently won the European Division A championships, earning the right to play in the European Grand Prix Series during the 2013/2014 season.
"Other teams expected in the country are the Australian Renegades, who touch down Tuesday, while the Samurai contingent will touch down on Wednesday.
"The England Royals will arrive in Nairobi on Thursday morning, while other foreign sides Grenoble, Zambia, Western Province, Hamilton Raiders, Uganda and Rwanda are all expected on the same day," said a statement from Kenya Rugby Union.
Alongside the foreign teams, there will be three teams from the host country, Senior Kenya team, Shujaa and a Kenya Sevens Academy consisting of Under-19 players.
Organisers have not released the official fixtures for Africa's premier rugby competition, which serves as build up event for the teams ahead of the start of the IRB World Series.
The first leg of the IRB World Series would be in Gold Coast in Australia on Oct. 12 and Kenya has been pooled together with New Zealand, Unites States and Tonga Island, who are the only non-core team. Tonga are the regional qualifier from the Oceania region.
Core teams in the series are New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji, Samoa, Kenya, England, Wales, Australia, France, Argentina, United States, Canada, Scotland, Portugal and Spain.
For the first time, Kenya Rugby Union will be introducing local clubs in the Africa's Premier's Sevens competition.
South Africa and Kenya have been the strongest teams in the shorter version of rugby, which has only seven players. However, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Morocco have been knocking for inclusion in the World Series.
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