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South Africans set for Safari Sevens return

Sunday September 15 2019

South Africa’s Elite Player Development who won the Safaricom Sevens at the Nyayo Stadium on September 23, 2012 are set to make a return in the 2019 edition. PHOTO | FILE |

South Africa’s Elite Player Development players who won the Safaricom Sevens at the Nyayo Stadium on September 23, 2012 are set to make a return in the 2019 edition. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

GEOFFREY ANENE
By GEOFFREY ANENE
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Former Safari Sevens champions Elite Player Development from South Africa are expected to spice up this year’s event slated for October 18 to 20 at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) Grounds.

The South Africans hit Kenya 21-17 to lift the 2012 title at Nyayo National Stadium when they last featured at Safari Sevens.

That squad was coached by current Blitzbok Head Coach Neil Powell and featured current Blitzbok stars Justin Geduld and Werner Kok.

World Sevens Series core side Spain is also on the list of 10 foreign teams that have entered the fray.

Spain lost 12-5 against Kenya’s second string side, Morans in the bronze medal match at last year’s tournament. The Spaniards, however, went on to perform better than Kenya at the 2018-2019 World Sevens Series. They finished 12th with 49 points.

Kenya, also a core in the World Series, would survive relegation by reaching their only Cup quarterfinal in the last leg in France after being under pressure almost the entire season.

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The East Africans finished 13th overall on 37 points.

Regulars Samurai International from the United Kingdom along with South African sides Western Province and Blue Bulls, current African Sevens champions Zimbabwe, Uganda, Russia Sevens Academy, Red Wailers and French side Seventise complete the list of foreign teams coming to Nairobi.

As usual, Kenyan will field two teams - Shujaa and Morans. Samurai dethroned 2017 winners Shujaa 21-14 in last year’s final.

Kenya will be using the 23rd Safari Sevens as a warm-up tournament ahead of the 2019 Africa Men’s Sevens slated for November 8-9 in South Africa.

The winner of the African duel will also qualify for 2020 Olympic Games.

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