Eleven teams have so far confirmed participation in the 2017 Safari Sevens slated for November 3-5 at the RFUEA ground.
Australia, Portugal, Germany and Hong Kong, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia are some of the national sides expected to grace the three-day event. South Africa will send two of its top provincial outfits in Western Province and Golden Warriors.
Regular participants Samurai under the tutelage of Terry Sands will bring a formidable outfit for the event. Fiji Barracudas who mostly consist of platers in the Fijian outfit will also be coming for the rugby extravaganza. They will be coached by Sailosi Nateqe. Kenya will field two sides for the event Shujaa and Morans.
Speaking yesterday, Kenya Rugby Union vice chairman Thomas Opiyo said the USA who had confirmed participation in March, had pulled out of the event and opted for their own event Silicon Sevens in California which runs on the same weekend as the Safari Sevens.
“There has been a change of plan by the United States. They are trying to promote their own tournament and will not come for the Safari Sevens,” he added.
Opiyo added that the seating capacity will be increased to accommodate the huge number of fans expected for the three-day tournament.
Opiyo estimated that the RFUEA ground can accommodate10,000 fans with extra seating space factored in for this year’s event.
“We will put more seats on the ground just behind the posts and on the side because we are expecting a huge turnout. We tried it in the match against Tunisia last month and it worked,” added Opiyo.
He said preparations for the event are on going in regard to logistics, security and ticketing which will be announced in due course. “We have two and half months to go to the event and we are doing everything possible to make this tournament, which has been flagship for us a success. Coming back to the RFUEA is a good decision after things failed to work out well at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani for the past three years.