Africas Premier Rugby tournament: The Tusker Safari Sevens
Africa’s Premier Rugby tournament, the Tusker Safari Sevens, comes alive this weekend again in Nairobi Kenya. The event, in its 13th year of existence, sees 16 top class teams chase for honors once again. This years tournament is in itself a milestone as rugby 7′s powerhouses step into Nairobi for the first time ever to take part in this tournament. One can remember that 3 years ago Fijian rugby great, Waisale Serevi, graced the tournament where he played for Kenya Shujaa as a guest player. France and Japan will be making their second appearance in Kenya and going nothing short of victory. (The last time the French were here, they almost never left F2. This time they aim to succeed!)
The Emerging Boks from South Africa are the defending champions and Kenya will be hard pressed to win the diadem that has eluded them on home soil for the last four years.
With Fiji leading the quality field in town, this promises to be a highly competitive event let alone a quality one. Other teams gracing the event are Japan, France, Bristol University Select, Samurai, Paris University, Shujaa, Uganda, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.
Kenya have just completed taking part in the IRB Sevens series 2007/8 where they finished 7th thus confirming their status as a top 10 rugby sevens’ nation globally. The onus is now on the them to prove that they can beat the best in the world right here at home. Kenyans at home and abroad will be rooting for their team very patriotically as it has proven time and time again rugby does bring people people together. At this time of healing the Tusker Safari Sevens is absolutely the right tonic. This is going going to be one festive weekend. Tusker, Tusker, Tusker!
Go Kenya, Go Kenya! Good luck boys!
Controversially the Kenyan Coach, Benjamin Ayimba, has stated on radio that this tournament is not a priority for him as his focus is the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai. Come on Benja, Charity begins at home! Show a bit more loyalty to the homeland. What do the Kenya Rugby Football Union have to say on this??
Humphrey Kayange (c), Lavin Asego (v/c), Allan Onyango, Victor Sudi, Moses Mwolle, Horace Owiti, Inocent Simiyu, Joshua Gathumbi, Victor Opong, Collins Injera, Biko Adema, Brian Nyikuli.
Coach: Benjamin Ayimba
Allan Makaka (c), Nato Simiyu (v/c), Leon Adongo, Owen Ocholla, Naftali Bondo, Philip Moturi, Matthew Musita, Wilson Kopondo, Andrew Amonde, George Mbaye, Samuel Wefwafwa, Malik Ndemi.
Coach: Felix Ochieng
To keep up with the Safari Sevens, visit their website.