Shujaa will on Saturday kick off their Safari Sevens campaign at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi with tricky matches in the pools announced by the Kenya Rugby Union on Wednesday.
The former champions have been drawn against giants Germany, Zimbabwe and first-timers Stallion Sevens from Nigeria in Pool A
Shujaa won the annual international tournament in 2000, 2013 and 2016.
Two-time winners Samurai (2015 and 2018 editions), are in Pool “B” where they will face South Africa All Stars Sevens Academy, Red Wailers and Kenya’s Under-20 side, Chipu .
Spain, defending champions Kenya Morans, Uganda and Kenya Cup winners KCB make up Pool “C” to complete the list of 12 teams vying for top honors.
The top two sides from each pool as well as the best two third-placed finishers will advance to the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday as they seek to lay their hands on the overall title.
The four Kenyan sides in the men’s event Shujaa, Morans, Chipu and KCB will begin their campaigns against Nigeria, Uganda, Samurai and Spain respectively. Shujaa and Morans are handled by Kenya Sevens team head coach Innocent Simiyu.
The women’s tournament has attracted five teams and will be played on a round robin basis. Kenya will field two teams with Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa’s Titans Rugby Academy rounding off the field.
Meanwhile, age grade and veterans rugby will get the Safari Sevens underway on Friday. The age grade competition will feature action in the U12 and U14 mixed tag rugby categories.
Pool “A” in the U12 category comprises Little Princes, Ole Polos, Bulbul and St Austin’s while Pool “B” has Jamhuri, Eagles Ruaka, Creima and Kibera Golden Stars.
Eagles Racecourse, Central, Matasia and Nanyuki make up Pool “C” with Happy Time Runda, Mukuru, Shamas and Runda rounding off Pool “D”.
Christco, Ngong, Oloishobor and Shamas make up Pool “A” of the U14 competition with Central, Runda, Mukuru and Kibera Golden Stars competing in Pool “B” as Toi Primary, Bulbul, Ngong and Nanyuki grouped together in Pool “C”.
Matasia, Kitengela, St Austin’s and Runda are in Pool “D” of this competition.
The veterans’ competition, which is open to players aged 35 and above, has attracted six teams split into two pools of three.
Pool “A” features Mwamba, KCB and Blak Blad while Pool “B” consists of Nondescripts, Kenya Harlequin and BATUK.
Safari Sevens Pools
Pool A: Shujaa, Zimbabwe, Germany, Stallion 7s
Pool B: Samurai, SA All Stars 7s Academy, Red Wailers, Chipu 7s
Pool C: Spain, Morans, Uganda, KCB
Kenya Lioness I, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Titans Rugby Academy, Kenya Lionesses II