Thursday, June 25, 2009
Kenyan rugby has come on in leaps and bounds of late, as the national Sevens side have proven to be giant killers on this years IRB World Sevens Series circuit. With wins over the best in the business, the Tusker Safari Sevens was the perfect homecoming for the side that has done a great deal for rugby back home.
With the sensational Collins Injera leading the way as top try scorer, Kenya have gone from being a minnow of the game, to finishing sixth on the IRB Sevens circuit for the season.
Together with captain Humphrey Kayange, Injera was nominated for IRB Sevens Player of the Year, the first time Kenya has been represented on the list in the tournaments 10 year history.
In Nairobi this past weekend, a crowd of 10 000 gathered to watch their heroes in action as they took on invitational sides that represented twelve different nations.
Kenya lifted the trophy for the second year in a row after they beat South Africas second string Sevens side, the Emerging Springboks, 40-19 in the final.
With the tournament's growth in popularity, and the sport of rugby reaching new fans, there is now talk of adding Nairobi to the IRB Sevens Circuit.
The Safari Sevens has been running for 14 years now, and while it was originally a development tournament, its now served that purpose and is ready to welcome the bigger sides in world rugby. This would have a great effect for the sport, as well as the local population.
With the sport of Sevens on the rise globally and fans flocking to exotic destinations to follow their sides in action, surely the Kenyan Safari Sevens needs to be looked at as a permanent IRB series fixture?
Who could deny the appeal of travelling to Nairobi for a weekend of sun, party atmosphere, and above all, top quality Sevens rugby. Mark it down in your calenders for next year.