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Kenya tackle top dogs Australia, Canada and Scotland in Seville Sevens starting today

Friday, January 28th, 2022 09:41 | By

Kenya rugby sevens team head coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu has acknowledged the competitiveness of Pool D in Seville Sevens set to start today in Spain.

The group has Kenya, Australia, Canada, Scotland Shujaa are first up against Australia at 4.49pm today under the dry and warm weather conditions forecast in the Andalusian capital.

Speaking from Seville, Namcos is confident the team is capable of not only topping the pool but also proceeding to the top eight knockouts. Kenya could only manage a point last week in Malaga Sevens to drop a place on the standings to sit 10th with 23 points, a point below Fiji.

“The weather is good, dry and warm, and we are eager to play our way out of the pool on Day One. We have reviewed our systems and game approach so now we aim to kick off well and be consistent to have a chance of finishing in the top five.

"We have a very competitive pool and we have to play good rugby to qualify for the quarterfinals,” Namcos told People Sport. Ferocious forwards Shujaa will be seeking to avenge their 21-14 loss to Aussies in Dubai last year.

Then Australia had good kickers and were clinical in that recent win against Kenya, and thus Namcos’ preferred starting lineup will today include the forward duo of Alvin Otieno and Vincent Onyala and a backline duo of Johnstonne Olindi and skipper Nelson Oyoo at the wing.

Shujaa’s ferocious forwards have controlled most of the matches this season but crucial chances, including conversions, lost in the have had a huge impact on the final results.

Last week, for instance, Kenya registered just a point off one pool win against France (26-15) to miss the last eight knockouts for the first time this season.

The 2021 Soya Sports Team of the Year will, however, be looking to rectify the shortcomings this weekend and hopefully earn a place in the medal contention spot. Currently there is no injury concern in the 13-man squad.

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