Shujaa will have its last chance of salvaging its fortunes at the HSBC World sevens series at the London 7s slated for this weekend.
14th placed Shujaa, which is only two points away from relegation, has been pooled with South Africa, Wales and Australia in the leg’s Pool B. Realising the plight that they are in, Shujaa has added some reinforcements to the squad that will be participating in the Paris 7s.
Players Michael Wanjala and Herman Humwa linked up with Kenya 7s team before the Paris 7s. The two replaced injured Daniel Sikuta and Daniel Taabu who flew back home on Monday evening from London.
Compared to the group they were in at the London 7s, Shujaa is in a rather manageable group where they have a chance of finishing the season further away from the relegation zone. Wales are also fighting to avoid relegation so they will be bringing their A game to Paris.
Fellow African side South Africa will also be a tough challenge for Shujaa as the Springboks are currently 4th on the log and have already qualified for the 2022 Tokyo Olympics. Australia on the other hand are sixth on the log and have had a fairly good season. Kenya’s advantage over these teams is that the team is fighting for something more, its legacy as well as relegation survival.
Shujaa recorded a poor performance at the London 7s which saw them drop from 13th to 14th and draw closer to relegation. The team only managed a slim win against Samoa (21-20) and was thrashed by Fiji and France.
Other teams fighting the relegation battle are Wales and Japan with 30 and 27 points respectively while Kenya has 27.
Realising the weight that is on the players’ shoulders, the Kenyan rugby fraternity is rallying behind the team in support. This is after former Kenya 15s coach Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno said even though mistakes have been made in the past, it’s time to rally behind the boys in Paris this weekend.
Former Skipper Humphrey Kayange has also spoken in support of the team saying the team needs to look at positives only as they prepare for the final leg of the HSBC World Rugby series. Former Kenya Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba expressed confidence that the team will maintain core status by a whisker this weekend.
All is at stake for the Shujaa Sevens team this weekend. There has been eddies in the course of the season but this weekend might as well define the whole season.