Kenya Sevens skipper Jacob Ojee, who is back after missing the two previous rounds in Singapore and Hong Kong owing to academic commitments, has vowed the relegation threatened side will not drop from being a core team in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Shujaa launch their London Sevens quest against defending champions Fiji at 12.36pm on Saturday at Twickenham Stadium in London as the 2018/2019 Series enters its penultimate round.
Kenya, who are chasing their first Cup quarter-final appearance this season, will then meet Samoa for the first time this term at 3.20pm before wrapping up their Pool “B” opening day action, seemingly tough looking, against France at 6.26pm.
Kenya, placed 13th on the world standings with 26 points, need to just match the performance of 14th placed Wales and Japan, who are on the relegation zone in 15th position.
Only four points separate Kenya, Wales and Japan in the bottom three so there is everything to play for in London.
The team finishing 15th will be relegated, and promoted Ireland, who won the qualifying tournament in Hong Kong, taking their place.
“We have bonded and trained well with the senior players, who made a return to the team in Singapore and Hong Kong,” said Ojee days before the team flew out to Europe.
He added that they may have had a torrid season but they were determined to finish on a high and avoid relegation.
“Kenyans should not be worried since we won’t be relegated. We are focused on getting maximum points from London and Paris having trained together for a long time with the senior players. We have also improved on our defence that has been porous this season.”
Kenya coach Paul Murunga made three changes to the side that was in Hong Kong and Singapore. Cyprian Kuto, Brian Wandera and Charles Omondi, all who missed out on a number of legs in the season due to injuries, are back.
Murunga has retained the rest of his regulars, Vincent Onyala, Andrew Amonde, Bush Mwale, Daniel Sikuta, Eden Agero, Daniel Taabu, Jeffery Oluoch, Nelson Oyoo and Johnstone Olindi.
Injuries have locked out Oscar Dennis, Augustine Lugonzo and Mark Wandetto.