Kenya coup for George tourney
Kenya coup for George tourneySHARE
The George Sevens Premier League tournament has received a major boost ahead of its revised date in January.
The very popular and highly competitive Kenyan national team will now also play at Outeniqua Park early next year.
The tournament was moved from its original date on December 13 and 14 by the organisers out of respect for the national week of mourning and passing of former president Nelson Mandela.
The new date, January 11 and 12, has resulted in Kenya's participation as their national Sevens coach, Paul Treu, is keen to get his troops valuable game time ahead of the next two tournaments in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Those tournaments will be played on January 25 and 26 in Las Vegas, with the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand a week later.
Kenya Shujaa, as the team will be called, will replace the Blue Bulls in the 12 team format, as the northern union will be preparing for the Vodacom Cup by then and called up a number of players from their Sevens team.
According to tournament promoter Willem Strauss the availability of Kenya will allow the Southern Cape fans to see one of the world's most popular and competitive Sevens teams in action.
"There is no doubt on the popularity of the Kenyan team and it is great that they have decided to use our tournament as a final warm-up to fine tune for their upcoming fixtures. They are also very competitive and I expect our tournament to again deliver sevens rugby of the highest calibre," Strauss said.
"We have some of the best Sevens teams in the country that will be playing in the Garden Route and with the addition of Kenya, we can look forward to a very exciting tournament."
The George Sevens Premier League tournament, now in its second year and with ZAR1-million in prize money, has attracted a number of high profile teams.
The line-up for January includes the famous Kaizer Chiefs and Unlimited Titans brands, private teams Living Ball, Eye of the Tiger Academy, Masakhane Old Boys, Samurai and the provincial teams of The Sharks, Western Province, SWD, Leopards, and Cheetahs.
Defending champions, Samurai, will field a number of contracted Springbok Sevens players, while Gcobani Bobo and Jimmy Stonehouse, coaches of soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs and cricket champions, Unlimited Titans respectively, assembled some of the country's best to play in their teams.