England, Blitzboks loom for Kenya 7s in Sydney

Shujaa players locked in a prayer ritual before kick off in a past match.
(FILE)Shujaa players locked in a prayer ritual before kick off in a past match.

National rugby sevens team Shujaa will take on Cape Town Champions England in the pool A opener of the fourth round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series in Sydney, Australia.

Currently ranked third on the World Series and boasting an 11-game unbeaten streak over the Kenyans, England presents one of the toughest opposition for Head Coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu’s men.

While Simiyu scrambles to find his best squad set up, his English counterpart Simon Amor has named an unchanged squad for a fourth successive tournament and, subsequently, for the clash that kicks off at 2:58am local time (+3GMT).

The two have been drawn alongside Wellington champions South Africa and Japan.

Shujaa face the Blitzboks in their second match at 07:15am local time (+3GMT) before tackling Japan at 11.51am for their last group fixture.

In Wellington, Kenya bagged the challenge trophy by beating Australia 19-17 in the final.

The 2016’s Sydney sevens saw Kenya beat Russia 24-0 and Scotland 17-14 before losing 26-19 to South Africa to settle for a second place in pool B.

In Cup quarters, Kenya fell 28-12 to Fiji, went ahead to beat USA 24-21 in Plate semis and eventually ending the journey with a 24-0 defeat to Argentina in the plate final.

Kenya remains ranked tenth with 25 points after three rounds this season.

Simiyu declared, during the series’ second round in South Africa, the team’s target is to collect at least ten points from each tour.

Olympic and Sevens Series champions Fiji top Pool B with France, Wales and Samoa.

After an impressive performance in the second round, where they finished with bronze, Scotland will play hosts Australia, New Zealand and invitational team Papua New Guinea.

Canada, who impressed in Wellington, top Pool D and play Argentina, USA and Russia at the Allianz Stadium next weekend.

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Story By Kenerickson Njeru
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