Media Black Out For Kenya 7s Team In Dubai

Nov 30, 2021
  • Kenya 7s team takes time out at the Ski Dubai ahead of this weekend's tournament.

The national seven-a-side rugby team arrived in Dubai at the weekend and were promptly ‘silenced’ and told to concentrate on the job at hand.

Efforts to get any information from the Kenyans in Dubai has been met with silence.

“They are not talking to anybody,” a former player said.

The team came under criticism after failing to win even the fourth tier of the International Rugby Board HSBC Sevens tournament in Gold Coast, Australia last weekend. They were knocked out by Japan in the Shield semi-final.

In the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, Kenya has been drawn with defending champions England, France and Zimbabwe. Under normal circumstances, this was a pool Kenya could easily top after previously beating all these teams.

Sportsnewsarena.com learned that no new players will be joining the team in Dubai. One of the most outstanding players at the Safari Sevens, Felix Ayange who is injured could also miss the third leg in Port Elizabeth, South Africa next weekend.

Fiji will be the team to beat in Dubai this week following an impressive victory at the Gold Coast Sevens. The Fijians claimed the title after defeating New Zealand 26-12 in the Cup final and will go into this weekend’s Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens with a great deal of confidence.

The 2005/2006 Sevens World Series champions looked to be in fine form as they swept aside Wales in the quarterfinal stage before getting the better of South Africa, defeating them 24-7 in the semi-final to set up their final clash with the reigning HSBC Sevens World Series champions, New Zealand. The Kiwi side had booked their spot in the final with a quarterfinal win over England and then a semi-final 26-7 victory over Australia.

The young Welsh side, meanwhile, looked to be continuing the recent success of their 15s counterparts by taking the Plate honours, after defeating Samoa 26-15 in that final while Argentina claimed the Bowl with a 17-14 victory over Scotland and Papua New Guinea the Shield by beating Japan 31-19.

“A tournament like this – it’s a really big thing for the boys. We needed a platform to start it off with so it’s a stepping stone to a summit,” said Fiji’s assistant coach Etuate Waqa after the final.

All eyes are now on Dubai for the second round of the Series at the region’s favourite sporting and social event of the year – the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens from December 1-3.

According to the draw , Fiji will face Samoa, Argentina and the home side, the United Arab Emirates in Pool A. Pool B will see New Zealand taking on South Africa, USA and Portugal. Pool C is made up of France, England, Kenya and Zimbabwe while Pool D will see Wales coming up against Australia, Scotland and Canada.

 

 Eric Odanga

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Additional reporting by Promoseven