We, the Kenya Rugby Union, wish to address the concern expressed by Kenyans regarding the recent relegation of our national team, Shujaa, from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
As the newly elected board of the Kenya Rugby Union, we are committed to taking swift action and working diligently to restore Shujaa’s position in the World Rugby Sevens Series by 2024.
In the coming days, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the 2022 – 2023 season, and based on the findings and recommendations of this review, the board will make informed decisions and guide the next steps to realign the team and set it on a path to success.
While the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Series has concluded, Shujaa will honor their pre-arranged commitments for the remainder of the year. They have been invited to the New York City Sevens tournament on 15th July 2023, alongside other top global rugby sevens teams. Over the next six weeks, we will work tirelessly to enhance Shujaa’s competitiveness, implementing the recommended remedial measures from the review. This will mark the initial step towards reclaiming our position on the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Similarly, we have set our sights on the Africa Cup, which serves as the Olympic qualifier, scheduled for September 16th and 17th 2023 in Zimbabwe. Our goal is to aptly prepare Shujaa to be considered a favorite to win the Africa Cup and secure qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics, despite the formidable competition posed by the South Africa Blitzboks.
To ensure both Shujaa and Morans, our second national sevens team, are adequately prepared for high level competition, we plan to have them participate in various satellite Sevens rugby tournaments worldwide. Additionally, our intention is for Shujaa to win the Challenger Series in 2024, securing promotion back to the World Rugby Sevens Series.
These ambitions require additional funding from our current partners, including the Government of Kenya, as well as the engagement of new partners. Notably, we are actively seeking an airline partner to facilitate travel for the Kenyan teams to their respective destinations.
Furthermore, it is essential to consider the financial support required for the Morans, as they serve as the talent feeder system for Shujaa. To maintain Shujaa’s continuous competitiveness and tournament success, funding for the Morans and their participation in satellite tournaments is crucial.
With the unwavering support of our current and future partners, along with the continued backing of the Government of Kenya, we are confident that Shujaa will regain its position in the World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2024/25 season.
Chairman Kenya Rugby Union