- The tournament had been scheduled for October 14-16
- It was to return to its traditional home at the RFUEA Grounds
- Sources say a last minute withdrawal of a sponsor necessitated the decision
The Kenya Rugby Union has announced the postponement of this year’s Safari Sevens tournament, less than two weeks to the intended dates. The Union said the decision had been made due to unavoidable circumstances.
Teams which had already confirmed their participation in the tournament have also been sent a regret note.
“The Kenya Rugby Union has today confirmed the postponement of the 25th edition of the Safari Sevens originally set for 14th -16th October 2022 at the RFUEA Ground. The decision to postpone the event has been occasioned by unavoidable circumstances,” a statement from the Union stated.
It added; “We take this opportunity to thank our loyal fans and partners for your continued support. A new tournament date will be announced in a future communication.”
No concrete reasons given
Though the Union has not given concrete reasons for the postponement of the tournament, SportLeo Understands that the withdrawal of a main sponsor very close to the tournament forced them to change dates, as it would be impossible to have the tourney without them.
With the new season of the World Rugby Sevens Series starting off in November, chances of the tournament being staged this year are close to minimal.
National team head coach Damian McGrath had hoped to use the tournament to prepare for the new season, and he wanted to test out his team and systems ahead of the new campaign.
He would have had a chance to field both the first team (Shujaa) and feeder team (Morans) to give him an opportunity to select his best for the season.
Last season, Shujaa won the title while Morans finished third.
Meanwhile, with the Safari Sevens postponed indefinitely, rugby heads will now switch their attention to the 38th edition of the Impala Floodlit rugby tournament which will be held on the 29th October, 5th November and 12th of November 2022 at the Impala Club.
The tournament which has traditionally been played as the curtain raiser for the rugby fifteens season, will make a return after a two-year hiatus occasioned by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Excited for the return
While making the announcement, Impala RFC Chairman Charles Ngovi said;
“We are excited to announce the return of the Impala Floodlit, after a two-year absence, the 38th edition of the tournament will be played on the 29th October, 5th November and 12th November 2022, at the Impala Club.”
This year’s edition will feature a total of 22 teams, battling in three categories, ladies, universities and clubs. The University and Clubs categories will have eight teams each drawn from the Kenya Cup, Championship and Nationwide leagues, while the ladies’ category will have six teams.
Tournament Director Daniel Ndaba gave an update on the preparations of the tournament and what fans can look forward to. “With a month to go, our preparations are in top gear to deliver a world class tournament and experience to the fans, players and our partners.”
“We will have a top-flight line up of teams that will be announced to you during the tournament draw on 21st of October, we are also in advanced discussions with our partners to ensure that we deliver a world class experience both on and off the pitch.” He added.