Kenya 7s will head to the next two events of the World 7s Series without key players Vincent Onyala and Bush Mwale.
Onyala has been a key player for the side since his debut in Dubai in 2018 but Head Coach Damian McGrath has revealed that the player picked a season ending injury.
The coach went on to state that it is a blow for the side as he is one of the best players in sevens and it will be difficult to find his replacement.
“Unfortunately we’ve lost Vincent Onyala to a season ending injury, which is a real blow for the team. Vincent is one of the world’s best sevens players in my opinion and he’ll be a difficult man to replace,” he told KRU media in a interview.
For Mwale, the coach says he took over a part time job that saw him miss the team’s training sessions and that led to his omission.
“Bush Mwale has been unavailable for training, because of the off-field issues, he’s had to take a part time job, which means he’s not available for training, ” said McGrath.
The Series’ next stop is Dubai where the women’s Series will commence, as part of a combined event with the men on 2-3 December 2022, before both men’s and women’s teams move on to Cape Town on 9-11 December.
The women’s pools for Dubai see the all-conquering reigning World, Commonwealth and Series champions Australia in Pool A alongside the USA, Canada and China. In Pool B reigning Olympic champions New Zealand will face France, Great Britain and Brazil. Pool C sees Olympic bronze medallists Fiji together with Ireland, Spain and newly promoted Japan.
The men’s draw sees Pool A with Australia, South Africa, Great Britain and Kenya. Pool B is Fiji, Argentina, New Zealand and Uruguay. Pool C includes France, Ireland, Spain and Uganda. Pool D is made up of Samoa, USA, Canada and Japan.
About the 2023 World 7s Series
The World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 promises to be the most competitive and compelling to date with more at stake than ever before as the top four ranked men’s and women’s teams will earn Olympic qualification for Paris 2024, while in the men’s Series the number of teams for the 2024 Series will reduce from 16 to 12 to equal the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic competition structure, meaning fans can expect an intense battle to avoid relegation in the 2023 Series with every match and every point counting towards their final Series ranking.
How will relegation be decided from the men’s Series 2023?
The 15th-ranked core team based on accumulated Series points following the tenth round in Toulouse will be relegated. The teams ranked 12th, 13th and 14th at the end of Toulouse will enter a four-team relegation play-off together with the Challenger Series 2023 winners at the eleventh and final round of the Series in London.
The relegation play-off will be a round-robin format with the top two teams then playing a final. The winner will become the 12th core team in the 2024 Series, while the other three teams will enter their respective Regional Sevens Championships in order to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. The Challenger Series will continue to provide a pathway for teams to qualify for the World Rugby Sevens Series.