Kenya will be wary of a South Africa backlash when they renew their continental rivalry in their opening Pool “B” match of the Los Angeles Sevens at 10.35pm on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park, in LA.
Kenya will next take on Ireland at 1.31am on Sunday before facing Canada at 5.35am as they search for their much desired second Cup appearance this season.
Kenya and South Africa have met thrice this season with the Blitzebokke winning on two occasions.
They met in the preliminaries of Dubai Sevens where South Africa won 17-12 on their way to clinching the leg.
They would meet again at the quarter-finals of Cape Town Sevens where Blitzebokke claimed a 17-5 victory. Kenya gained sweet revenge in the preliminary stage at Hamilton Sevens stunning, the world giants 36-14 but could not get out of the group with only pool winner advancing to the semi-finals in a new, unpopular format.
Thankfully, the series has reverted to the traditional format of top two in each pool advancing to the Cup quarter-finals.
Kenya will be meeting Ireland for the second time this season after they drew 24-24 at the preliminary stage in Cape Town while they will face the Canadians for the first time.
Kenya coach Paul Feeney travelled with one of the strongest Shujaa sides this season with Nakuru's Oscar Ouma and Samuel Oliech of Impala Saracens back in the team.
Ouma and Oliech last featured for Kenya Sevens during the 2017-18 Series.
Also making a return are KCB's Jacob Ojee, Daniel Sikuta of Kabras Sugar and Oscar Dennis of Nondescripts.
“It feels good to be back in the set-up and getting another chance to represent the country,” said Ouma.
“It’s just taking it up a notch higher and firing from all cylinders," said Ouma. Oliech noted that the team has been playing well despite a few slip ups.
“The hunger is definitely there.”
Kenya’s Day One fixtures
South Africa v Kenya 10:35pm (Saturday)
Ireland v Kenya 1:31am (Sunday)
Canada v Kenya 5:35am (Sunday)