NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Burkina Faso is the latest addition to the number
of foreign teams that will come to Nairobi for the Safari Sevens
tournament from Nov. 9-11.
The West African
side will be using the two-day tournament as part of its
preparations ahead of next year’s continental qualifiers for the
2020 Olympic Games in Japan and promotion to the Africa Men’s
Sevens 2019 tournament.
Kenya Rugby Union
Chairman Richard Omwela confirmed that 12 teams will be
competing in the tournament, in which host Kenya will use as a
curtain raiser ahead of the World Series circuit that starts in
Dubai in December.
“We are happy with
the interest showed by international teams. Seven international
teams have so far confirmed their participation,” said Omwela on
Wednesday in Nairobi.
Sevens World Series
core team Spain and Kenya will be the teams to watch out of 12
that have confirmed participation.
Portugal, a former
core side in World Series, as well as Uganda, Namibia, Samurai
Rugby, South African side Cobras, Red Wailers and Apache Sevens
are the other foreign sides expected in Nairobi next week.
string side Morans and local sevens club champions Homeboyz have
also been invited.
“Safari Sevens is
making a return after a one year break due to the extended
elections in the country, which we witnessed last year,” said
Kenya Sevens senior
team are the defending champions from the 2016 tournament. This
year’s tournament takes on a 12 team format, similar to that
used at the Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens
The Kenya team was
however dealt a blow after strength and conditioning coach
Geoffrey Kimani said Wednesday he will not renew his contract,
which expired on Oct. 31.
“With expiry of my
contract with KRU and Kenya Sevens, I have rescinded the
decision to sign up a new one due to personal reasons. Instead,
I will proceed for sabbatical. It was an honour serving the
country and sport,” he said.
Kenya named a new
coach Paul Murunga to take over from Innocent Simiyu starting on
Nov. 1. The Safari Sevens will be his first competition.
The Safari Sevens
tournament is the second top tournament in the continent after
South Africa Sevens, which is part of the World Series circuit.
President Abdelaziz Bougja said the continent has made strides
in growing the sport.