National Rugby team, Silverbacks, will be hoping to improve on their previous performances when they take part in this year's Safaricom 7s in Kenya, according to head coach Gerard Nsenga.
The three-day annual tournament is scheduled to take place from September 21 to 23 at Nairobi's Nyayo Stadium. The team will depart for Nairobi on Wednesday, September 19.
After three failed attempts to win the coveted trophy, Nsenga is hopeful on Rwanda's chances of doing better this time round than on the previous three occasions.
"Last year we did really well to reach the (Plate) semifinals and lost to Uganda, but I hope this time we can go a step further," said Nsenga.
"We have had enough time and resources to prepare well for this tournament, I am hopeful we can go there and do something we have never done before (winning the title)," he added.
Nsenga, who also doubles as Rwanda Rugby Federation technical director, said all players in camp are in good condition, physically and mentally and are prepared to give their best.
However, the coach is sweating on the fitness of his most influential player Vincent Kamali, who is nursing an ankle injury.
"He has an ankle injury but we hope he will be ready when the competition begins," Nsenga stated.
However, Nsenga will not travel with the team since he has other commitments. But former New Times Chief Sub Editor Joseph Bugabo will accompany the team as the stand-in coach.
The team's preparations were boosted with a Rwf2.3m sponsorship from the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
Meanwhile, debutants Portugal, Spain and Western Province of South Africa are the latest nations to confirm their participation in the tournament.
Spain made their debut during last year's edition held at the same venue. They reached the main cup quarter finals where they lost 17-0 to Samurai, before losing in the plate semis, going down to eventual plate winners Auckland 19-14.
Tournament organising committee chairman Shasha Mutai said due to the depth of the tournament, Kenya will be represented by three teams, Kenya 1, Shujaa and new entrants Chairman's Select.
Other teams which have confirmed their participation include Samurai, Bristol which will be led by former Kenyan captain Humphrey Kayange, Uganda, Uganda 2, Emerging Boks, Grenoble and Hamilton Raiders, the oldest South Africa Rugby club, among others.
The tournament kicks off on Friday with a schools' competition while national teams will begin their quest on Saturday.
This will be Silverbacks' fourth appearance in the Safaricom 7s tournament which attracts elite teams from the region and beyond, including Europe. Rwanda has appeared in 2006, 2010 and 2011.
Silverback team: Benjamin Makombe, Marcel Cambara, Olivier Uwamahoro, Vincent Kamali, Ignance Nsanzimana, Ivan Makmoti, Juvenal Gatabazi, Philip Mana, Otimu Allan, Joe and Aime Ndahirwa.