Kenya Sevens: World Series return on the mind for Shujaa at Sevens Grand Final in Madrid

Kenya Sevens speedster Patrick Odongo at the 2024 Challenger Series in Dubai. Photo: World Rugby

Kenya Sevens: World Series return on the mind for Shujaa at Sevens Grand Final in Madrid

Joel Omotto 09:00 - 31.05.2024

Shujaa have little margin for error as they begin the World Series promotion-relegation playoff keen for an immediate top-flight return following last year’s relegation.

Kenya Sevens will begin their date with destiny on Friday evening when they feature in the promotion-relegation at the Grand Final in Madrid, Spain.

Shujaa are seeking an immediate return to the World Sevens Series following their relegation last May and would cap off a great year with clinching their ticket in the high stakes tournament.

Kenya saw their 19-year top flight status come to a crashing end following a poor 2022-23 season but have shown glimpses of their old self with wins in the 2024 Challenger Series opener in Dubai in January before a third-place finish in Montevideo in March and even though they finished fifth in Munich last week, they had done enough to secure their playoff place.

The playoff will involve teams that finished in the top four in the second tier Challenger Series and the sides that were placed ninth to 12th in the World Series with the top four from the tournament earning a place in the top-flight next season.

It means Kenya have little margin for error as they have to be in the top two in their group to make it to the semi-final. Shujaa are in Pool B alongside hosts Spain, Samoa and Chile while Pool A has Canada, USA, Uruguay and Germany.

They will begin their campaign against Samoa at 6.25pm (Kenyan time), before taking on Spain at 10.18pm and will complete group stage action on Saturday against Chile at 8.15pm.

A good performance will see them pitted with one of Pool A sides with a familiar name among them in former coach Mike Friday, whose USA side find themselves in the playoff.

“I know Kenya inside out and they know me, and that’s not necessarily good, though, as they’ll raise their game! They’re an interesting outfit, they’ve got a lot of speed, I think they’ll be a handful,” Friday told World Rugby on what he expects from Kenya.


Friday May 31, 2024

Kenya vs Samoa (6.25pm)

Kenya vs Spain (10.18pm)

Saturday June 1, 2024

Kenya vs Chile (8.18pm)

All matches: Kenyan time