Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has announced that it has withdrawn both Kenya Shujaas and Lioness from the Quest for Gold 7s tournament taking place in Los Angeles.
The tournament is set to take place on June 25th and 26th.
“The Kenya Rugby Union has withdrawn the 7s national men’s and women’s teams Shujaa and Lioness from this weekend’s Quest for Gold Sevens tournament in Los Angeles, USA,” the statement stated.
The union has cited safety concerns for the players as cause for the withdrawal.
“The withdrawal has been occasioned by player safety concerns in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read.
Shujaa were set to join hosts USA, Great Britain, Argentina and Korea for the tournament. Lionesses on the other hand were set to join hosts USA and Jamaica.
Both national teams were set to use this event as a final preparation battle ahead of next month’s rugby sevens tournament at the Olympic Games set to take place from July 26th to 28th in Tokyo, Japan.
However, KRU stated that the tournament was too close to the Olympic Games and they could not risk the players.
“With the turnaround time for this tournament being too close to next month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, we had to make the difficult decision of pulling the teams out of the competition,” the statement read.
Both teams have all the same participated in the Dubai, Madrid, and Rugby Africa Solidarity Camps in preparations for the Olympics.
The teams have been at camp in Kasarani for over three weeks undertaking extensive training.
The appearance of both teams at the Olympic Games will only be the second time that Kenya is represented in the games. The first time was in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.