All eyes will be on Alvin ‘Buffa’ Otieno today when the Safari Sevens returns after a year at Nyayo Stadium. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak.
Otieno was Shujaa’s ultimate showman after finishing as Kenya’s best player in the 2021 World Sevens Series with 11 tries scored in the shorter two legs series played in Canada last month.
Always playing aggressively with big carries mixed with some fun and dances at the end of each try, the Homeboyz RFC winger has been included in the Shujaa squad that will be coach by Innocent Simiyu. Simiyu will also oversee the Kenya Morans who are also the defending champions.
Shujaa which has regulars like Bush Mwale, Johnstone Olindi, Levy Amunga, Alvin Marube, Timothy Mmasi and Otieno will be captained by Herman Humwa.
Mwale and Olindi return to the squad after missing the 2021 World 7s Series. Collins Shikoli, Nondies’ Benson Salem, Strathmore Leos’ Brunson Madigu, Archadius Khwesa and Edmund Anya are also in the Shujaa squad.
Simiyu has picked Clinton Odhiambo, Zeden Marrow, Derrick Mayar, Kevin Weksa, Charles Tendwa Obat Kuke to play for Morans.
Others are Ronnie Omondi, Augustine Lugonzo, Richel Wangila, Austine Sikutwa and Hanningtone Wabwire.
The tournament will feature 12 teams and they have been grouped in pools of four teams in each. Shujaa are in Group A where they have dates against Zimbabwe Cheetahs, Germany and Nigeria Stallions sevens.
The top two sides from each pool as well as the best two third-placed finishers will advance to the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow as they seek to lay their hands on the overall title.
Meanwhile, former Kenya Sevens captain Andrew Amonde will feature for the Samurai despite hanging up his boots two months ago.
Amonde, 37, retired after the Tokyo Olympics but will play alongside with Kenyan great Collins Injera who has been appointed captain of the side.
Mwamba’s Tony Owuor, Mike Okello and USIU’s Felix Okoth are also in the squad.
Mwamba’s Team Manager Fahad Adil, George Odhiambo, and Billy Odeng are part of the technical bench. Samurai are in Group B alongside South Africa All-Stars Academy, Red Wailers and Chipu Sevens.