Kenya inches closer to hosting IRB Sevens Leg

By francis marangu
Jul 17, 2013

Kenya could soon play host to an International Rugby Board World Series leg after Kenya Rugby Union, KRU, signalled to an imminent clearance from the international body.

KRU has on several occasions declared intent to host one round of the series that brings together core teams and other invited nations. Such a move would cost the union at least Ksh.130 Million considering the magnitude of the event.

KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee revealed on Wednesday that plans are at an advanced stage to see the dream come true. If that comes to fruition, the annual Safaricom Safari Sevens rugby tournament will then be transformed into an IRB Sevens leg.

“Our country’s hopes of soon becoming a destination for staging one round of the International Rugby Board,IRB Sevens Rugby World Series are very real,” he said.

He said a top official from the IRB will visit the country to grace the tourney slated for September 20-22 when everything could be finalized.

“Safaricom 7s is heading to the world series very soon. We will have a guest from IRB coming over and if he endorses our system then we might have a world series leg here.”

Muthee, who was speaking at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani during the official launch of the Safaricom Sevens Series, said it is through the support of the telecommunications company that they will achieve the goal.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore supported the push saying their sponsorship of the tourney is borne of a belief in the greatness of Kenya’s sportsmen and women.

“Under our sponsorship, we have seen rugby in Kenya grow tremendously. Our sights now are set on gaining entry into the IRB Circuit,” he said. Under the Safaricom Sevens Series, the company will bring on board the National Sevens Circuit into its ambit for the first time.

The circuit begins on August 3 with every leg getting a Sh1 Million sponsorship. Kisumu RFC (Dala Sevens), Mwamba RFC (Kabeberi Sevens), Mombasa RFC (Driftwood Sevens), Nakuru RFC (Prinsloo Sevens) and Kenya Harlequin (Christie Sevens) received Sh1 Million each while KRU got Sh41.3 Million. Sh5 Million will go towards the title sponsorship.

The three years deal amounts to a total of Sh.140 million and gives Safaricom the title rights to the Safaricom Sevens for the entire period. 

There will also be additional categories that include women invitational, club category, schools category and mtaa rugby.

Safaricom Sevens Series Dates: Dala Sevens, Kisumu, 3rd/4th August (Kisumu Polytechnic), Kabeberi Sevens, Nairobi, 10th/11th August (Kasarani ), Break, 17th/18th August, Driftwood Sevens, Mombasa, 24th/25th August(Mombasa Sports Club), Prinsloo Sevens, Nakuru, 31st August/ 1 September(Nakuru Athletic Club), Christie Sevens, Nairobi 7th/8th September(RFUEA); Safaricom Safari Sevens, Nairobi, 20/21/22 September (Kasarani). By Francis Marangu