Kenya Lionesses 2023 highs and lows

Kenya Lionesses captaun Judith Auma and her teammate Grace at the waiting area. Photo Courtesy/KRU

Kenya Lionesses had several matches in 2023 and had both good and bad runs in the events they had in the period.

Scrummage Africa takes a look at where they impressed and where they failed to shine in the events they featured in.

Kenya Lionesses win Elgon Cup

The Elgon Cup was the major trophy the Lionesses managed to lock in their cabinet in 2023. The Dennis Mwanja charges retained the Cup after they completely obliterated Uganda Lady Cranes 15s 87-3 in Kisumu.

Everlyne Kalemera and her Kenya Lionesses teammates during her final match. PHOTO/Mercy Chebet.

Kenya Lionesses teammates during her final match. PHOTO/Mercy Chebet.

The Lionesses were hungry right from the outset of the match, touching down 13 times during the game.

Christabel Lindo and Stella Wafula scored a hat-trick each whilst Sharon Auma, Phoebe Akinyi, Ann Goreti, Faith Livoi, Diana Omosso, Naomi Jelagat and Naomi Amuguni managed to cross over once.

Kenya Lionesses retain WXV 3 Status

The Lionesses had qualified for the WXV 3 tournament courtesy of finishing second in the Africa Rugby Women’s Cup behind South Africa. They were pooled alongside Ireland, Fiji, Spain, Kazakhstan and Colombia in the WXV 3 tournament.

The top five teams would seal their slots for next year’s tournament while the last team would head for a play-off with the next best side, according to the World Rugby Women’s Rankings.

Kenya Lionesses in a past event. PHOTO/ Matchz Medi

Kenya Lionesses in a past event. PHOTO/ Matchz Media

The Lionesses had had a false start in the campaign before saving the best for last to retain their slot. They were defeated 32-0 by Spain in their first game before losing 18-12 to Kazakhstan in the second game.

In the final game, they edged Colombia Women 21-5, a win that ensured they finished above bottom-placed Colombia.

Sharon Auma had a brace in the game, Rose Otieno scored one try and Anne Goreti booted a drop goal and a penalty for the win.

The win sealed Kenya’s place in the WXV 3 rugby championship to be played next year.

Kenya Lionesses silver

The Lionesses had a great outing in Tunisia managing a second-place finish after losing out 12-7 to eventual winners South Africa in the final.

They had earlier white-washed Uganda 27-0 in the semi-finals. Despite losing on a direct Olympic qualification ticket, the Lionesses will still have a chance to fight for an Olympic spot when they head for the repechage in 2024.


They will square it out with the likes of Argentina, China, Czechia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Samoa and neighbours Uganda.

Lionesses stars invites

After having successful outings, some of the Lionesses stars managed to land call-ups to the Serengeti Elephants Women’s team to participate in an annual Rugby 10s Championship tournament.

Wing Sharon Auma, Stella Wafula, Christabel Lindo, Judith Okumu and playmaker Grace Okulu were some of the stars selected.

They Serengeti Elephants managed to win 48-0 against W.P Rugby and 19-7 against Cape town Wild Dogs in their preliminary matches before falling to Honey Bargers 22-5 in the finals.

The duo of Judith Okumu and Stella Wafula were instrumental in 19-7  Serengeti’s win over Cape Town Wild Dogs as they each scored a try.

Kenya Lionesses abroad

In February, Kenyan international fly-half Grace Adhiambo Okulu joined Japanese club side, Nagato Blue Angels.

The fly-half joined the club on a six-month deal and was a core part of their local sevens campaign which kicked off on 11 February and ran till July.

Kenya Lionesses Christabel Lindo in action against South Africa. Photo Courtesy/KRU.

Kenya Lionesses Christabel Lindo in action against South Africa. Photo Courtesy/KRU.

She joined fellow  Kenya Lionesses star Janet Okello who signed a contract extension with Japanese side MIE Women’s Rugby Pearls for one more year in March 2023 after an impressive run in the opening year.

Kenya Lionesses Misses

Losing Safari 7s

The Lionesses failed to retain the Safari 7s title after they were beaten 15-12 by a determined Uganda Lady Cranes outfit.

Coming to this tournament, the Lionesses were missing five of their players who had gone to ply their trade in the Rugby 10s Championship in South Africa.

The Lady Cranes were resolute in defence and barely gave Kenyans a room to run.

Nyachio Sinaida and Naomi Amuguni were the only try scorers for Kenya in that final played at rain-soaked RFUEA grounds.

Uganda on the other side scored three unconverted tries through Agnes Nakuya, Lydia Namabiro and Ruth Nadunga to bag the win.

Lionesses also missing out on a direct Olympics slot can be counted as a miss but they still have a chance to redeem themselves in the Repechage.


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