By Ayumba Ayodi
Nation Media Group
What you need to know:
- Kenya to field defending champions Kenya Shujaa, Kenya Morans and Menengai Oilers
- Venue of event relocated from Nyayo National Stadium to RFUEA “so as to create a good fan experience”
This year’s Safari Sevens, that will run from October 14 to 16 at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) ground, will cost an estimated Sh80 million.
The event’s organising committee chairman Moses Ndale disclosed on Thursday that the amount will go towards visiting teams’ accommodation among other logistics.
Ndale said the 25th edition of the tournament will involve three categories — veterans, age grade and main event.
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The main event will feature 12 men’s and six women’s teams.
Ndale, who is also the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) vice chairman, was speaking during the 2022 Safari Sevens media launch at the Pride Inn Azure Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday.
Ndale noted that the venue of the event has been relocated from the Nyayo National Stadium to the RFUEA grounds so as to create a good fan experience.
Kenya will field defending champions Kenya Shujaa, Kenya Morans and the National Sevens Series champions Menengai Oilers.
Shujaa edged out Germany 12-5 to lift the Safari Sevens title that is also known as the Robin Cahill Trophy last year. Morans claimed bronze after disposing off Red Wailers 12-5 in the play-off for third place.
Kenya Lionesses thrashed Uganda’s Lady Cranes 26-0 to win the women’s contest.
“We will unveil the teams that have confirmed participation on Monday next week. WE hope to have a good tournament full of excitement both on the pitch and outside,” said Ndale, who was accompanied by KRU chairman Oduor Gangla and chief executive officer Aggrey Wabulwenyi.
Gangla said the dates for the event were informed by the start of the 2022/2023 World Rugby Seven Series on November 4 to 6 in Hong Kong.
“This being an election year, it was not possible to pull off an event we would have loved but still it’s encouraging that we have managed to get many teams engaging us,” said Gangla.
Gangla noted that with the Rugby World Cup Sevens having ended several days ago in Cape Town, teams have little time to prepare for the World Series.
“We still hope to get strong teams and create a good environment worthwhile for the experience, “said Gangla, adding that they are engaging several sponsors who will be unveiled in due course. Wabulwenyi said unlike before tickets will be on sale for a longer period starting this week.
“We shall disclose the entry charges on Friday this week and the tickets will be on sale throughout, “said Wabulwenyi. “We want to have a more interactive event with the fans like ever before.”