Shujaa: What next after securing World Sevens Series return?

Shujaa: What next after securing World Sevens Series return?

Joel Omotto 10:07 - 03.06.2024

Kenya Sevens achieved their main target of earning an immediate return to the World Sevens Series but there is still much more to conquer this year.

Kenya Sevens completed a memorable year when they secured their return to the World Series following a 33-15 win against Germany in the decisive match in Madrid on Sunday.

Shujaa had to do it the hard way as the Germans went ahead first but once they took the lead, they never looked back.

Kenya had suffered relegation last year when they lost in the playoff match to lose their core status for the first time in 19 years.

They, however, started plotting their way back in September when they shocked fancied South Africa to win the Africa Sevens in Zimbabwe and earn an Olympics ticket.

Kevin Wambua’s men would go on to win the Safari Sevens crown in Nairobi and this boosted their morale ahead of the 2024 Challenger Series which they needed to finish in the top four to be in contention for the promotion-relegation playoff.

They did just that, starting the series with cup victory in Dubai, followed by third place in Montevideo and managed fifth in Munich to earn a place in the playoff. At the playoff, they won two of their three group matches before the must-win match with Germany.

Following their return to the World Series, Wambua’s men will now turn their focus on the Paris Olympics that start in under two months.

It will be the third straight Olympics appearance for Shujaa but they will be seeking improved performances at the Games after a poor outing in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Shujaa were kicked out of contention at the group stage on both occasions despite great promise heading into the Games, having lost all three pool matches in Rio and Tokyo.

Good preparations will therefore be needed for a change in fortunes in Paris and plans are underway to ensure they camp at Team Kenya’s pre-Olympics base in Miramas, France and also play friendly matches against top opponents.

Kenya Rugby Union will also need to keep the players motivated, even if the union is experiencing financial challengers, so that they can stay focused on the job at hand.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.