NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s rugby head coach Innocent Simiyu is
optimistic that his team will secure a medal at the Commonwealth
Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 13
The Kenya team will
face giants New Zealand, Canada and fellow African side Zambia
in Pool C of the competition, which brings together 71 countries
and regions from six different continents which make up the
“Kenya is in a tough
pool but we believe we have done our homework well and trust the
players will play with pride and impress us all. Our key focus
is to meet our performance targets especially in attack.
Hopefully we will get the results we all want,” Simiyu said on
Kenya needs to
improve on its performance at the Club Games having finished
fourth in Delhi, India in 2010 and in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kenya missed out on medals after South Africa beat the reigning
champions New Zealand in the final with Australia and Samoa
finishing third and fourth respectively.
“The team is playing
well in the World Series and we believe they still have a lot to
play for in Gold Coast,” said Simiyu.
Kenya’s women rugby team, the Lionesses, have been drawn against
Africa opposition after the pools for the women’s rugby sevens
competitions at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast were
Kenya faces South
Africa, New Zealand and Canada in Pool A while Pool B has
Australia, Fiji, England and Wales. South Africa and Kenya will
be the only teams at the Commonwealth Games from the Africa
At this level of
competition, there are no easy draws. The top two teams will
progress from each pool for the semifinals.
There will be 16
men’s teams in the competition. Unlike many events at the
Commonwealth Games, which lack top teams, in rugby it is only a
step below the Olympic Games given that only France and the USA
are missing from the world’s top ten sides in attendance.
For Africa, apart
from Kenya and South Africa, there will be no Zimbabwe, who
withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 and have not competed at
the Games since Manchester in 2002.
However, it will be
Uganda’s fourth consecutive participation in a rugby sevens
tournament at the Games, after they qualified for the first time
at Melbourne 2006. Zambia will make their debut appearance in
The two nations join
fellow African countries Kenya and South Africa, who qualified
due to their World Rugby Sevens Series ranking.