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Shujaa on prowl: Kenya Sevens side begin new season against Scotland in Dubai



National rugby Sevens team Shujaa begin their quest for a second World Sevens Series title with a tricky tie against Scotland at the Sevens stadium in Dubai this morning.

The side, which amassed 104 points last season — its highest points tally ever — will be seeking to start the season well, with a main cup quarterfinal their minimum target.

Shujaa, who have had limited time in training and with several rookies in the squad, will face the Scots at 8:44am. The two teams met four times last season with Kenya winning all the encounters — 33-12 in Cape Town, 33-19 in Hamilton New Zealand 19-12 in Hong Kong and 21-20 in Paris.

Kenya will France in their second match at 11:44am. The East Africans has a decent record against the Europeans in their five encounter last season, winning 34-0 in Singapore, 17-14 in Sydney, and 12-7 in Vancouver. However, France won twice, 21-14 in Cape Town and 19-14 in Las Vegas.

Shujaa’s third game will be against Olympic champions Fiji . The two sides clashed three times last season with the Fijians winning the Vancouver and Hong Kong finals 31-12 and 24-12 respectively and 24-5 in Sydney.

Head coach Paul Murunga remains optimistic about the team’s chances in the season opener. “The boys look settled and are relishing the challenge ahead. It’s a good squad and we ant to be competitive in all three matches on the opening day,” said Murunga.

“If we can bag 20 points from the two tournaments (Dubai and Cape Town) then we will have made a great start to the season.” Murunga is without talisman Collisn Injera , former skipper Andrew Amonde, Sammy Oliech, Willy Ambaka and Nelson Oyoo, who were with the Simbas in the World Cup qualifier repechage in France recently. The five will be available for selection in the New Year when the series heads to Australia and New Zealand. In their absence, Murunga will rely on the experience of skipper Eden Agero, Dennis Ombachi and Leonard Mugaisi. Kenya reached the quarters last year with wins over Canada and Uganda and a defeat to South Africa in the preliminaries.

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