Kenya have been pitted against South Africa, England and Spain in tough Pool ‘D’ for the Dubai Sevens in December.
Shujaa, who narrowly avoided relegation last year in the final tournament in Paris, will open their campaign against South Africa before facing England and Spain in their final preliminary pool matches.
Kenya finished with 37 —their lowest point total since becoming a core side in 2004. Shujaa progressed to one main cup quarterfinal last year in the final tournament in Paris.
Olympic and World Sevens Series champions Fiji have a date with France, Argentina and Japan in Pool ‘A’. Mike Friday’s USA, who finished as runners up last season, take on Australia, Scotland and World Sevens Series qualifier Ireland in Pool ‘B’.
World champions New Zealand face Samoa, Canada and Wales in Pool ‘C’.
Dubai has been a poor hunting ground for Kenya with Kenya making it to the quarters twice— 2013 under former coach Paul Treu of South Africa and in 2017, under Innocent Simiyu.
Kenya Sevens coach-cum-technical director Paul Feeney termed the pool difficult but noted that the side will be well prepared for the challenge ahead.
“It’s going to be tough with two heavyweights —England and South Africa—in the pool but I believe the boys will be well prepared for the challenges the tournament will throw at them,” he noted.
Feeney said he will be in a position to know his squad for the World Sevens Series after this weekend’s Safari Sevens and Olympic qualifiers.
“We have two tournaments coming and once we play them, I will be in a position to assess and know our chances for the season ahead,” added Feeney.
The tactician is glad to have the senior players back in the squad ahead of the season.
“It’s good to have them back in training and we have shared ideas on how the team should play. They are in good spirits and we hope we will have a good season,” he added.
Feeney is expected to select his 24-man squad for the season after the Olympic qualifiers in South Africa.
Pool A: Fiji, France, Argentina, Japan; Pool B: the USA, Australia, Scotland, Ireland; Pool C: New Zealand, Samoa, Canada, Wales Pool D: South Africa, England, Spain, Kenya