Solomon Okia Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The 23rd edition of the Safari 7s rugby tournament kicks off today, Saturday, October 19 at the RFUEA Grounds along Ngong Road in Nairobi.

Heavy downpour over the past couple of days leading up to this popular tournament have been recurring but nonetheless, the mood in the city is high in anticipation of a weekend of intense and thrilling rugby from the world’s best players taking part.

This year’s tournament is taking place during the Mashujaa Weekend during which Kenya celebrate their National Heroes Day, thus it also promises to be a fun-filled experience for the Kenyans and fans from across the world.

The main attractions at the tournament are going to be the starstudded Shujaa, three-time World Rugby Sevens Series champions South Africa and defending champions Samurai.

Samurai 7s are setting their sights on the crown, replicating their flawless triumph in 2018 when the tournament made its return to Ngong Road and are favourites for the title.

Kenya head coach Paul Feeney believes the Safari 7s is a good platform to test his side as they prepare for the coming season that includes the HSBC 7s World Series in which they are a core side and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Uganda Rugby 7s were pooled in the tough Pool A alongside home side Kenya Morans, South Africa’s Blitzbokke and Burundi. The Safari 7s is thus going to be a test of the Rugby Cranes’ status as an African giant, and are expected to dominate the first fixtures.

It remains to be seen if the young and explosive squad led by Michael Wokorach can pull the upset of the day when they face the experienced Blitzbokke

The Uganda Rugby 7s are scheduled to play the opening fixture of day one against Kenya Morans at 9:30am, followed by an easier tie against Burundi at 12:20pm, and will close the day in the tough contest against Blitzbokke at 4:30pm.

Ernest Akorebirungi joined Kawowo Sports in July 2019 after one year as a student volunteer at the Makerere University Games Union. In his role as rugby correspondent, he offers unique insight and analysis...

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