Kenya Lionesses open campaign against Madagascar in Tunisia

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 02, 2017
  • Kevin Wambua, the Kenya Lionesses coach is convinced qualifying for RWC 7's is possible. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya Lionesses Road to the 2018 World Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, USA begins with a match against Madagascar on September 16 during the Rugby Africa Women's seven-a-side tournament in Tunisia.

According to the Pools and fixtures released by Rugby Afrique, Kenya are seeded second behind South Africa and have been drawn in Pool B which has Zimbabwe, Senegal and Madagascar in the two-day 12-team qualifier.

The winner of the tournament will represent Africa at the World Rugby Sevens World Cup at the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco on July 20-22 next year. But, the runner-up also has a chance of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games for the Commonwealth countries in Australia in April.

For the first time in the women's competition, the teams will be ranked after the opening day paving way for the quarter finals on the second day. 

Kevin Wambua, the Kenya Lionesses coach has been going through the paces with the players and targets winning the qualifiers. They have already had a residential camp.

"We know we have to win the Africa Cup Sevens if we want to play in the World Cup, that's why it's big for us. Our chances of winning it are as good as anyone elses.

"The mood is very healthy and everyone wants to put their best foot forwrd and represent Kenya with pride, win the Africa Cup and qualify for the World Cup...that's our target," Wambua told KRU website.

"I believe we are capable of it...if you look at last year's Africa Cup, we lost the final to South Africa by five points (17-22) ...it's just a matter of belief and decison making which let us down.

"I believe this time around, with all out training and hard work, it's just a matter of putting our mental right and putting our best foot forward...taking every game as a final...we just have to play and win. We are ready for that. I am pretty sure the girls will put up a good show. I am pretty sure we are going to make it for the Rugby World Cup Sevens."

The second East African team Uganda begin their campaign against hosts Tunisia before facing Morocco and South Africa. They have been drawn in a tough Pool A.

The Lady Cranes have named a provisional squad of 16 players from which 12 will be named before the team departs for Tunisia on September 13.

Uganda provisional team: Aisha Nakityo (Thunderbirds, assistant captain), Harriet Kayonjo, Mary Kyoita, Samiya Ayikoru (Thunderbirds), Emily Lekuru, Gilder Azikuru, Grace Auma, Immaculate Mafuwa, Peace Wokorach (Walukuba Titans), Charlotte Mudoola (captain), Hellen Gizamba (Black Panthers), Angella Nayonjo, Juliet Nandawula, Justine Yolanda Namagembe, Peace Lekuru (Entebbe Ladies).

Officials: Helen Buteme (head coach), Regina Lunyolo (team manager), Edgar Lemerigar, Leon Lubambula (assistant coaches), Nelson Mayeku (physiotherapist) 

Pool A: South Africa Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco.

Pool B: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Madagascar

Order of play, September 16: South Africa v Morocco (10 a.m.), Uganda v Tunisia (10.22), Kenya v Madagascar (10.44), Zimbabwe v Senegal (11.06), South Africa v Tunisia (11.58), Uganda v Morocco (12.20), Kenya v Senegal (12.42), Zimbabwe v Madagascar (1.04), South Africa v Uganda (1.56), Tunisia v Morocco (2.18), Kenya v Zimbabwe (2.40), Senegal v Madagascar (3.02).

Day two, September 17

Match 13: 1 v 8 (10.30); Match 14: 2 v 7 (10.52); Match 15: 3 v 6 (11.14); Match 16: 4 v 5 (11.36).

Ranking matches

Match 17: Loser M13 v Loser Match 14 (12.28).

Match 18: Loser Match 15 v Loser Match 16 (12.50).

Cup semis

Match 19: Winner M13 v Winner Match 15 (1.12).

Match 20: Winner Match 14 v Winner Match 16 (1.34).

Match 21: 7/8 Loser Match 17 v Loser Match 18 (2.16).

Match 22: 5/6 Winner Match 17 v Winner Match 18 (2.38).

Match 23: 3/4 Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20 (3 p.m.).

Match 24: Final Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20 (3.22).