Kenya Lionesses face Hong Kong

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Apr 05, 2017

Kenya Lionesses begin their campaign for the one available slot for next season’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series by playing hosts Hong Kong and Belgium in the qualifiers in Hong Kong.

The East Africans are in Pool B which also has Argentina.

Last season, Kenya had a taste of the Series by playing in France. Kenya also finished 11th in the Olympics after replacing South Africa. Only one team will qualify for the core status from the 12 in the qualifier.

Among some of the top teams are Japan who were a core team in the World Series last season.

South Africa who qualified for the Olympics but did not travel to Rio de Janeiro after their National Olympic Committee said they had no realistic chance of medals are also in Hong Kong.

Some of the players in the team had put their careers on hold won the Rugby Africa qualifier before their NOC pulled the plug.

In the final of the qualifier, South Africa beat Kenya 22-17.

The Netherlands and China are also expected to compete for a podium finish.

Kevin Wambua, the Kenya Lionesses coach said before departure that the aim was to reach the quarter final which means they must win at least two matches to avoid a complex arithmetic as the best qualifier.

He has a stable and experienced squad which has stayed together since the Series' debut in France.

Some of the key players include Philadelphia Olando, Celestine Masinde, Doreen Remour, Janet Okello and Janet Awino.

The draw

Pool A: Japan, China, Netherlands, Jamaica.

Pool B: Argentina, Kenya, Hong Kong, Belgium.

Pool C: South Africa, Colombia, papua New Guinea, Italy.

Order of play, Wednesday: Colombia v Papua New Guinea, South Africa v Italy, China v Netherlands, Japan v Jamaica, Kenya v Hong Kong, Argentina v Belgium, Colombia v Italy, South Africa v Papua New Guinea, China v Jamaica, Japan v Netherlands, Kenya v Belgium, Argentina v Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea v Italy.

Thursday: South Africa v Colombia, Netherlands v Jamaica, Japan v China, Hong Kong v Belgium, Argentina v Kenya.