Driftwood sevens returns this weekend

Final game of the 2023 Dala 7s between KCB and Kabras Sugar. KCB are the national circuit leaders after winning the first round in Kisumu./COURTESY

Mombasa rugby lovers will be converging at the Mombasa Sports Club grounds this weekend for Driftwood Rugby Sevens.

Speaking at the grounds, Mombasa Rugby Chair Rogers Lai said 40 teams will be participating in this year’s tournament slated for Saturday and Sunday.

“This is part of the national rugby circuit. This year it has been sponsored by Sportpesa, so we are calling it the ‘Sportpesa National Sevens Circuit’. This year-round we are promising you a lot of competitive rugby. This is the second leg, the first one was in Kisumu,” said Lai.

There will be two divisions; Division One that will be pitting 16 teams against each other, including circuit leaders KCB who won the first leg in Kisumu, for the Driftwood title, and Division Two where 24 teams will be battling for the ticket to division one in the third round.

Also at the briefing was the tournament sponsor SportPesa Partnership Manager Willis Ojwang’ to hand over a million shillings cheque to Mombasa Rugby in support of the tournament.

SportPesa hands over a dummy one million shillings cheque to Mombasa Rugby in support of the Driftwood Sevens.

“To be able to have quality gameplay, we are also rewarding the players, in both Division One and Two. So for Division One, we are awarding prize money totaling to sh.175,000; that is for position one, two and three,” said Willis.

“Winners getting sh.100,000; 50k for position two and 25k for position three. Division Two, to just encourage the sport, we are also awarding the top in with 50k,” he added.

The one million is part of the sh.15 million collective support for the national sevens circuit from SportPesa.

The SportPesa Partnership Manager also said there will be a lot of partnerships, both long and short-term, between the company and the teams.

Meanwhile, Kenya Rugby Union Vice Chair Moses Ndale said preparations by the Mombasa Rugby for this weekend’s Driftwood sevens tournament were at par.

“If you look at the tournaments that KRU is having; we just came from Dala sevens in Kisumu to Mombasa, that is city to city,” said Ndale.

The sevens circuit will take a break for the World Rugby Under-20 from next week then resume in September in Nakuru with the Prinsloo sevens.

“From Nakuru we go to Nairobi then Eldoret. I would like to encourage other cooperatives to come through for clubs and support the clubs as well as the union,” said the KRU Vice Chair.

Mombasa Rugby Chair Rogers Lai has promised a fun-packed, entertainment-filled and very competitive rugby weekend.

Lai urged Mombasa residents and other rugby lovers to come in large numbers promising there will be ample security.

“We have the Mombasa County who will be assisting us with traffic and security around the place, we are also working with the Kenya Police. So we are asking everyone to come,” said the Mombasa Rugby Chair.

“We have lined up quite some entertaining activities. The games will start at 8 a.m. all the way to 5 p.m then after that we have an afterparty from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., we assure you lots of security. We have contracted quite a number of security apparatus, so the whole of this area will be secure,” added Lai.

Last year’s circuit was won by Menengai Oilers.

Below are the divisions and pools for this weekend’s tournament.

Driftwood 7s

Division 1

Pool A: KCB, Nakuru, Nondescripts, Blak Blad

Pool B: Kabras Sugar, Homeboyz, Kisumu, Mombasa

Pool C: Strathmore Leos, Menengai Oilers, Catholic Monks, Masinde Muliro

Pool D: Kenya Harlequin, Mwamba, Daystar Falcons, Kabarak University

Division 2

Pool A: Western Bulls, KCA University, Moi University, Taita Taveta

Pool B: Makueni, Kenya Prisons, South Coast Pirates, Kenya Coast National Polytechnic

Pool C: UoE Trojans, Northern Suburbs, Moi University, National Industrial Training Authority

Pool D: Embu, Mount Kenya University, TUM Marines, PUEA

Pool E: Stallions, NYS Spades, Nanyuki Jackals, Changamwe

Pool F: Zetech Oaks, Administration Police Warriors, Kilifi, Likoni Community

Tickets will be going for sh.500 regular and sh.2,000 VIP.