The 21st edition of the Safari Sevens international rugby tourney kicks off with Samurai international clash against the Red Wailers at 10.00am at the RFUEA grounds while defending champions Shujaa open their hunt against KRU Cup runners-up Mwamba 11.50am.
The tournament which kicked off Friday with Girls U-19 competition, enters day two today with Kenya fielding two national team sides and two local clubs in the 12-team competition.
Shujaa under coach Paul Murunga kick off the title defence campaign against Mwamba full of hope and confidence.
Shujaa match will be Kenya’s second encounter after Kenya Morans led by skipper Samuel Motari alongside upcoming players who will stage a fight against neighbouring Uganda at 10.44am.
Two matches of interest will be the match featuring Shujaa against Mwamba at 11.50am and the clash between Kenya Morans against local sevens champs Homeboyz at 4.44pm, all four sides out to prove themselves at home.
World HSBC sevens core team Spain and former core side Portugal will also be out to contest for the title with Spain opening their campaign in the second match of the day against Emerging Uganda at 10.22 am.
Morans will play the third match of the day against Uganda with Portugal gracing the pitch next against Homeboyz.
Samurai sevens international led by head coach Nick Wakley from Wales will lead his charges to their opener in the absence of Kenyan internationals duo of Oscar Ouma and Patrice Agunda. The two did not make the final cut to the squad which will see four Kenyans don the Samurai shirts.
Frank Wanyama, Augustine Lugonzo, Tony Owuor and Oscar Dennis will feature for the side while Mwamba team manager Fahad Ali will manage the side.
Samurai 7s beat hosts Shujaa 20-19 in 2015 for the title but lost it to Shujaa in 2016 following a 38-21 score. Last year’s edition was called off by the Kenya Rugby Union due to the 2017 repeat elections climate.
Only top eight teams from the three pools will advance to the cup quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Kenya and Uganda will contest for the women’s division title whereby both sides will field two sides in the competition.
Lionesses’ head coach Kevin Wambua named three debutants to his side, which will take on Felix Olow, coached side as Kenya ‘B’ and the two Ugandan sides.
Both Kenyan male sides and women’s teams will serve as the selection grounds for final squads to represent Kenya in the upcoming Dubai sevens tournament slated for December 29- December 1 at the Sevens stadium, Dubai.