Top seeds Kenya have been handed a favourable draw in the Africa Rugby Cup Sevens starting Friday at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani.
In Pool A, minnows Nigeria and Senegal stand between Kenya and the semi-finals of the championship that has four pools. Last year’s runners up Zimbabwe are in Pool B that has Uganda and Mauritius.
Morocco, the 2012 losing finalists, headline Pool C where they face Zambia and Madagascar while Tunisia are in Pool D alongside 2004 losing finalists Namibia and Botswana.
The Pool winners will be ranked for the knockout semi-final stage on Saturday with the rest playing in the classification ranking.
Four-time defending champions Kenya have been into six of the last seven Africa Cup finals, winning in 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2015. Zimbabwe won in 2000 and 2012 beating Kenya and Morocco respectively while South Africa’s Development side claimed victory in 2014, edging out Kenya.
The only time Kenya failed to reach the final was in 2012 where Zimbabwe beat Morocco in the final 33-10.
Last year, Kenya scored at the death to edge out Zimbabwe 21-19 to reclaim the title they had lost to South Africa’s Development side.
The result also saw the Kenyans qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where they were joined by South Africa, who went on to win bronze after beating Japan 45-14 in the play-off.
Just like Kenya, Zimbabwe and Morocco will also provide sides for Safari Sevens starting Saturday to Sunday.
The tournament director Godwin Karuga said that Zimbabwe and Morocco will bring along eight extra players to their sides of 12 for the two championships.
“We are ready to welcome teams and we should expect two highly competitive events,” said Karuga.