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Rugby union backs beleagured sevens team

13 February 2014, 12:41

Nairobi - The Kenya Rugby Union has challenged the national rugby sevens team to step up its game for remaining legs of the 2013/14 HSBC World Sevens Series to maintain last season’s overall performance.

The chairman of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Mwangi Muthee called on the team to respect and ‘declare war’ against all teams in the series and not just the top ones, if the country is to achieve its goal of becoming a great rugby playing nation. 

“We have already set on a journey to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and we must permanently take our high performance very seriously.Clearly, so far, we have not lived to the expectations of our sponsors who have invested so much in us so that we can be the best we can be. We must commit ourselves and guarantee them that we shall pull up our socks and clean up our act for the remaining half of the World Series,” MrMuthee added.

The KRU chairman was speaking at the Ole Sereni Hotel on Monday during a welcome breakfast for the team that was hosted by Kenya Airways, its official sponsors. The team was returning from the fourth and fifth legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Las Vegas in the US and Wellington in New Zealand.

Kenya Airways CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni also graced the breakfast where he reiterated Kenya Airways’ support to the team and pledged to continue supporting KRU in its agenda of developing the sport in Kenya, saying, " the KRU is a model sports organization in Kenya and the professional manner in which they conduct their activities makes it easy for Kenya Airways to engage with them." 

Sports Secretary Japheth Mwania was also in attendance and heaped praise on the team, saying, " You continue to make us proud everytime you go out there to represent the country and we know that it will just be a matter of time before you are firing on all cylinders."

Gordon Oluoch, the Commissioner for Sports observed that rugby is the number one team sport in the country, saying, " Your performances have no doubt captured the hearts and minds of the nation, inspiring many young people to participate in the game through playing or cheering and observing the performances of the team. Keep it up and rest assured that greater things are coming your way."

Kenya reached the bowl final at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, losing 35-0 to Fiji in the final. They would win the bowl final at the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand, beating Scotland 24-14 to lift their first piece of silverware since lifting the plate at the 2012 USA Sevens. They currently sit at the eighth position with 47 points, behind New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji, England, Australia Samoa and Argentina respectively.During the Wellington Sevens, the Kenyan team lifted the Bowl.

There are four more legs remaining in the 2013/14 HSBC World Sevens Series – Japan, Hong Kong, Scotland and England.

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