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Fiji legend Serevi ‘Russians’ receive ‘intel’ from Mwamba; meanwhile Cecil Afrika to lead ‘Blitzbokke’ at Safari Sevens

FIJIAN Waisale Serevi, considered to be the greatest rugby sevens player in history, leads the Russian contingent to this year’s Safari Sevens rugby and in Nairobi for early preparations the legend ‘hob-knobbed’ with as well as sought ‘inside info’ on the Kenyan international event from well-known members of the country’s leading club Mwamba.

Mwamba is the club of some of Kenya’s most famous rugby players to have taken part in World Rugby’s HSBC Sevens World Series including stellar try scorer Collins Injera and Humphrey Kayange, a prominent member of the lobby group that aided bringing back rugby to the Olympic Games fold in 2016. After fraternizing with Mwamba, Serevi received the familiar all black gear of the club.

Top and above: Rugby Sevens legend Waisele Serevi (right) was keen on the gear of one of Kenya’s leading clubs, Mwamba, home of Kenya’s world stars of the game Collins Injera, Humphrey Kayange, Lavin Asego and Horace Owiti. Serevi bought his merchandise from Mwamba player and kit retail agent Chris Asira during training at the University of Nairobi ground on Sunday. Photo/COURTESY

Top and above: Rugby Sevens legend Waisele Serevi (right) was keen on the gear of one of Kenya’s leading clubs, Mwamba, home of Kenya’s world stars of the game Collins Injera, Humphrey Kayange, Lavin Asego and Horace Owiti. Serevi bought his merchandise from Mwamba player and kit retail agent Chris Asira (left) during training at the University of Nairobi ground on Sunday. Photo/COURTESY

Serevi featured in four Rugby World Cup Sevens — in 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2005 — winning the World Cup with Fiji in 1997 and 2005. He also led Fiji as player/coach to the 2005/06 Sevens World Series title, the first time the series was won by a team other than New Zealand.

Meanwhile, all-time great experienced play maker Cecil Afrika leads the South Africa squad that will be in Nairobi for the Safari Sevens.

Afrika, a ‘Blitzbokke’ mainstay since debuting on the Sevens World Series during the 2009/2010 season is South Africa’s all time points scorer, having amassed a total of 1,440 points, a statistic that places him sixth overall on the Sevens World Series all-time list.

Cecil Afrika in flight for the 'Blitzbokke' on the HSBC Sevens Series trail. He leads the South Africans at thge Safari Sevens on coming weekdend

Cecil Afrika in flight for the ‘Blitzbokke’ on the HSBC Sevens Series trail. He leads the South Africans at the Safari Sevens on coming weekend

Experienced Sevens World Series campaigners Siviwe Soyizwapi, Stedman Gans and Selvyn Davids are also part of the South African travelling party as the ‘Blitzbokke’ seek to leave Nairobi with the 27kg Robin Cahill Trophy for the outright winners at the close of business on Sunday October 20.

Recruited as head coach in November 2018, Serevi leads the Russian team to this year’s Safari Sevens taking place between October 18 and 20 October at Nairobi’s RFUEA (Rugby Union of East Africa) Ground. Serevi, who was the Safari Sevens tournament’s celebrity chief guest in 2005.

South Africa’s Steadman Gans is tackled by a Kenyan player during the HSBC Sevens World Series leg at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 26, 2019

South Africa’s Steadman Gans is tackled by a Kenyan player during the HSBC Sevens World Series leg at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 26, 2019

Serevi’s Russian contingent was the first team to arrive in Nairobi for the Safari tournament. Playing as “The Russian Sevens Academy” the group anticipated, first, a week-long training camp in Nairobi ahead of their tournament debut.

Russia Sevens Academy (was to be picked from):

Aleksandr Berezin

Aleksandr Afanasyev

Aleksey Solovyev

Sergey Bondarenko

Aleksey Kapalin

Kevin Akuabu

Vladimir Aksenov

Ivan Mukhan

Islam Shakirov

Aleksandr Regner

Pavel Golik

Dmitry Pasternak

Dmitry Bobov

Aidar Gafarov

Ivan Ovchinnikov

Ilya Chernishov

Ruslan Krivolap

Gleb Lukyanenko

Igor Fedorov

Management:

Roman Kukhaev- (Doctor),

Igor Panin(Physio)

Aleksandr Tsvetkov(Manager

Sergey Babkin – (Coach)

Anton Levchenko(Coach)

Waisale Serevi– (Head Coach)

South Africa (‘Blitzbokke’):

Cecil Afrika

Siviwe Soyizwapi

Stedman Gans

Selvyn Davids

Angelo Davids

Darren Adonis

Qamani Kota

Shilton Van Wyk

James Murphy

Christoffel Grobbelaar

Impi Visser

Divan Enslin

Management:

Ashley Evert – (Manager)

Hugh Everson (Physio)

Renfred Dazel – (Coach)

-Majority reporting from KRU communications

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