NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – The national rugby 7s team, Shujaa, will face Fiji, Australia and Japan at next month’s Los Angeles Sevens after the teams were grouped together in Pool C of the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament.
Coach Damian McGrath’s boys will be hoping for a better performance in the United States after collecting five points from this past weekend’s Sydney Sevens where they lost 26-24 to Tonga in their ninth-place playoff semi-final match.
Shujaa began their Sydney campaign on a sour note, losing 31-5 to their Pool B opponents South Africa before going down 33-0 to eventual winners New Zealand.
However, they recovered admirably against Uruguay, rallying from 14-0 down to win 24-19 against their Latin American opponents.
Although they defeated Spain 17-12 in their ninth-place quarterfinal match, Shujaa faltered in their semis match against Tonga.
Nonetheless, they will be buoyed by the fact that their exploits took them one place better to 12th on the World Rugby Sevens Series rankings, boosting their chances to avoiding the chop come the end of the season.
They will have to be at their very best against their opponents in Los Angeles considering their respective pedigrees.
Kenya were pooled together with the Fijians at the Hamilton Sevens where they lost 21-7. The latter will be out to make amends for their failings in Australia where they fell one shy of the finals, losing 31-12 to South Africa in the semis.
On the other hand, the Wallabies will be looking to get over the disappointment on home soil when a stoppage-time Thomas Carol penalty kick earned the French a 17-14 win in the main cup quarterfinal against the Australians.
The tournament will be staged at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles.