All Eyes On Shujaa As Battle For Paris 2024 Olympic Games Begin In Zimbabwe

16th September 2023

The 2023 Rugby Africa 7s Cup takes place from 16-17 September.

Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
  • The Kenya 7s will be fighting to win the 2023 Rugby Africa 7s Cup serving as the African qualifiers to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
  • Shujaa, who are in Pool B alongside Zambia, Namibia and Nigeria, will face the biggest challenge from South Africa.
  • Only the winner of the tournament gets the automatic ticket to Paris next year.

The men’s national rugby 7s side, Shujaa, will be hoping to get a perfect day one when the 2023 Rugby Africa 7s Cup gets underway on Saturday morning in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua coached side are placed in Pool B where they will face Zambia, Namibia and Nigeria with the aim of advancing to the quarterfinals set for Sunday.

The 12-team tournament is serving as the African qualifiers to the 2024 Olympics where only the winner will book the automatic ticket to Paris, France next year.

The second and third placed teams will have to go through a final qualification Repechage tournament in June 2024 where they will join the second and third placed teams from Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America with the winner of that event taking the 12th and final slot to the Olympics.

Also Read: Vincent Onyala Headlines Shujaa Travelling Squad To Zimbabwe

Shujaa, who normally dominate that tournament having won the 2015 and 2019 editions to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and Tokyo held in 2021, will this time face strong challenge from South Africa who missed out on automatic qualification following their seventh placed finish in the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Series which was outside the top four finishing teams.

It will now be the first time that the South Africans have to qualify via the Africa Cup after they have always been automatic qualifiers since Sevens was introduced at the Olympics.

Speaking ahead of the tourney, Shujaa head coach expressed confidence in the team selected as he revealed the plan they have in the important event.

“I believe we are in a very good place for the qualifiers. We want to take a game at a time and play every game like a final. We have to get out of the pool stage first.

We want to be in a position that sees us top the pool at the close of day one and embark on the quarters and the boys believe they can go all the way,” Wambua said.

Pool A has South Africa, Madagascar, Tunisia and Ivory Coast while Pool C comprises of Uganda, hosts Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

Also Read: Bling, Fadhee, Sewe: The Kenya 7s Bench Brewed Over 18 Years of Friendship

Travelling Squad

Vincent Onyala, Kevin Wekesa, John Okoth, William Muhanji, George Ooro, Samuel Asati, Brian Tanga, Tony Omondi, Nygel Amaitsa, Patrick Odongo, Festus Shiasi, Beldad Ogeta.

Non-Travelling Reserves

Elvis Olukusi, Fidens Tony, Ronnie Omondi


Group A: South Africa, Madagascar, Tunisia, Ivory Coast

Group B: Kenya, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria

Group C: Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Algeria

Shujaa Pool Fixtures | Saturday 16 September

1106 | Kenya v Nigeria

1350 | Kenya v Namibia

1634 | Kenya v Zambia

Cup Quarters

QF1 | B1 v Best Third Placed | 1000

QF2 |C1 v A2 | 1022

QF3 |B2 v C2 | 1044

QF4 | A1 v Second Best Third Placed | 1106

9th Place semis

Third Best Third v Third Best Fourth | 1128

Best Fourth Placed v Second Best Fourth | 1150

5th Place Semis

Loser QF1 v Loser QF2 | 1306

Loser QF3 v Loser QF4 | 1328

Cup Semis

Winner QF1 v Winner QF2 | 1350

Winner QF3 v Winner QF4 | 1412

11th Place Playoff

Loser 9th Place semi 1 v Loser 9th Place semi 2 | 1434

9th Place Playoff

Winner 9th Place semi 1 v Winner 9th Place semi 2 | 1456

7th Place Playoff

Loser 5th Place semi 1 v Loser 5th Place semi 2 | 1550

5th Place Playoff

Winner 5th Place semi 1 v Winner 5th Place semi 2 | 1614

Bronze Medal Playoff

Loser Cup semi 1 v Loser Cup semi 2 | 1641

Gold Medal Match

Winner semi 1 v Winner semi 2 | 1718