Action-packed weekend for Kenyan rugby lovers

Rugby fanatics in the country are set to be entertained with a thrilling set of matches across different venues this weekend

KABRAS SUGAR

First up will be Kenya 7s, competing at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore. Shujaa is in a tough Group A which also has USA, Canada, and Africa powerhouses South Africa.

The Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu-coached side opened their campaign against USA on Saturday morning, losing to USA 12-10.

Singapore holds a lot of fond memories for Shujaa as it is here where they won their first-ever and to date only World Rugby Sevens Series Main title in 2016 after beating Fiji 30-7 in the final.

Simiyu has a 16-man raveling party with Collins Shikoli, Ben Salem, Zeden Marrow and Richel Wangila in line to make their debuts this weekend. The team is captained by Nelson Oyoo.

After Singapore, the team will then head to Vancouver for the 6th leg before shifting focus to the World Cup Qualifiers in Uganda on April 23rd.

The Rugby 7s World Cup will be held later this year in Cape Town, South Africa. Shujaa are currently eighth on the log with 31 points.

Kenya U-20 side, also known as Chipu, will be out to defend their title when the Barthes Cup kicks off on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Chipu faces neighbours Uganda in the last match of the day for a shot to qualify for the semifinals.

Eight teams are already in the country with former champions Namibia facing Ivory Coast in the first matchup of the day before Tunisia take on Zimbabwe. Madagascar, who were beaten by Chipu in last year’s final, will then size up Zambia in the third quarterfinal.

The semifinals will take place on Wednesday April 13 with the final scheduled for April 16.

As far as local rugby rivalries go, the one between KCB and Kabras Sugar has proved to be a modern-day derby with both teams leaving nothing to chance in their pursuit for glory and bragging rights.

This weekend, the two sides lock horns once again at the RFUEA grounds in the Enterprise Cup final. Kabras Sugar will be looking to complete a season double after winning the Kenya Cup title last month. The Kakamega-based side beat Homeboyz 37-11 in the semifinals while KCB had to dig deep to see off a stubborn Impala 20-18.

KCB were eliminated in the semifinals of the Kenya Cup and will be baying for blood. Both coaches will however have to do without key players who are currently out of the country with the Kenya 15s side.

At the same time, Kenya 15s side will begin their Currie Cup campaign against the Valke Falcons on Saturday.

Simbas will be in South Africa for over two months taking part in the invitational tournament as they continue with their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.

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