Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has come out to respond after the national team failed to secure its top-tier status in the HSBC World Rugby series.
The statement by the Union’s boss Alexander Mutai comes in the wake of the national team, fondly known as Shujaa being relegated from the series after a dismal performance on the world stage.
In a statement on Monday, Mutai said the union will undertake a comprehensive review of the season gone by to come up with strategies and a roadmap for Kenya’s immediate return to the prestigious competition.
“In the coming days, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the 2022-2023 World Sevens Series season and based on the findings and recommendations in the review, the board will make informed decisions and guide the next steps to realign the team and set it on a path to success,” the statement read in part.
Shujaa were relegated to the Challenger series following a 12-7 loss to Canada in the playoff finals on Sunday in London.
This will be the first time in 23 years that Kenya will be missing the World Rugby Sevens Series with no chance of invitation to some events after World Rugby came up with a 12-team format for the 2023/2024 Series.
However, KRU insists that Shujaa will continue with their pre-arranged competitions as they prepare for life in the second tier and have set their sights on the Africa Cup, which serves as the Olympics qualifier, scheduled for 16 and 17 September 2023 in Zimbabwe.
“Shujaa will honour their pre-arranged commitments for the remainder of the year. They have been invited to the New York City Sevens tournament on July 15th, 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,” the union said.
For Kenya to earn back its core status, they have to qualify for the Africa rugby sevens final and hopefully win or come in second before going on to participate and win in the two-weekend challenge tournament featuring 12 teams from around the globe.
However, after 19 years of playing at the top tier, Shujaa will have to go back to the drawing book and strategies on the way forward and how to reclaim their lost glory.