The tournament hosts have emerged as crowd favorites owing to their brand of rugby and showmanship which has endeared them to audiences the world over.
Playing at their home tournament, under new coach Mike Friday, the home boys will be out to please the fans by reclaiming the Safaricom Sevens title and getting a confidence boost ahead of the 2012-2013 season.
Recently granted core status ahead of the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series, European side Portugal will make their debut at the 17th edition of the Safaricom Sevens taking place at the Nyayo National Stadium from 21-23 September 2012.
The Portuguese, who made their international sevens rugby debut in 1992 at the Catania Sevens, have won the European Sevens title eight times in 2002, 2003,2004,2005,2006,2008,2010 and 2011.
They also recently earned qualification to the RWC Sevens 2013 slated for Russia. Their qualification was secured courtesy of a 7-5 win over Spain, who will also be returning to this year's tournament, during the cup final of the Algarve Sevens on Saturday 21 July 2012.
Kenya's second representative at the Safaricom Sevens. They won the tournament in 2000 when the national team took part in the RWC Sevens Qualifiers held concurrently with the tournament.
Shujaa is always a dangerous side, and fans should look out for some great rugby from the side.
Samurai International RFC is one of the most prestigious, recognised, and feared teams on the International circuit. Famed for their striking kit, professional attitude and on-field flair, they have grown in to arguably the world's most successful invitational sevens team.
The team was founded in 1996 by Terry Sands when he was asked to enter a team into the 25th Amsterdam Sevens. Inspired by the spirit and tenacity of the Japanese team at the 1995 world cup, Sands dubbed his new team "Samurai Rugby" with the goal of
encapsulating the passionate, adventurous and free flowing style of rugby that had first brought the 'Cherry Blossoms' to his attention.
Playing fantastic running rugby in their striking, unique playing kit, the Samurai team have brought a strong team to Nairobi with the sole intention of lifting the Safaricom Sevens title.
WP Rugby is traditionally symbolized by the Blue and White Hoops of its playing strip. Newlands Rugby Stadium, situated in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, plays home to the proud Union. The 2nd oldest stadium in world rugby, the grand old ground has a capacity of 48 000 and, with the tall stands in close proximity to the playing field, it is world renowned for its electric and intimidating atmosphere. The playing field is unique in the Southern Hemisphere, containing 11km of polypropylene fibres, stitched between the grass, into the playing surface.
WP Rugby has a rich heritage of excellence, having won the premier domestic tournament in South Africa, the Currie Cup, more times than any other rugby union in the country. With a large contingent of rugby playing schools and clubs in the Province, the Union also has a legacy in producing the most players for the Springboks, the National Sevens team, the National under 21 team and the SA Schools team.
After making their debut last year, Spain are relishing the opportunity of testing themselves against the competition at the Safaricom Sevens and emerging victorious.
They will compete in every leg of the 2012-2013 HSBC Sevens World Series after being granted core status, and will see the Safaricom Sevens as a perfect avenue for them to further hone their skills in the sevens version of the game.
The feeder side of the Springbok Sevens, the South African's just love the Nairobi tournament, making their debut in 2003, and losing to hosts Kenya in that year's final. They would lose again in 2004 before winning the first of their two titles in 2006 with the likes of Cecil Afrika who has gone on to give outstanding sevens displays for South Africa.
Great friends of the Safaricom Sevens, Zambia won the bowl in 2003 and lifted the shield in 2008. Returning to Nairobi, Zambia, the Mosi Sevens hosts will look to better their previous performances.
Last year's main cup quarter finalists Grenoble return to Nairobi seeking to go every step of the way and win the tournament.
Kenya's fourth representative side at this year's tournament, this is an amalgamation of sevens players selected from various Kenyan universities. University sides are known to play with passion and it will be interesting to see how this team, making its Safaricom Sevens debut, performs.
Uganda is one of the very few teams to have featured at every Safaricom Sevens since its inception. Their rivalry with hosts Kenya in both the sevens and fifteens versions of the game is legendary. They have also put in some decent performances in previous years.
They have also brought along their second side, the Kobs, all in pursuit of Safaricom Sevens glory.
There has been representation from Bristol ever since the tournament's inception in 1996. While the Bristol University Select have in previous years played at this tourney, the representation this time round comes in the form of the Barracudas, a select side featuring Kenya Sevens legend Humphrey Kayange.
Rwanda rugby continues to develop rapidly. The past few years have been good in terms of exposure. From sending a representative side to tournaments in Kenya, and Hong Kong, Rwanda's sights are set on climbing up the ranks. They will definitely use the Safaricom Sevens to get more exposure as they seek to become competitive in the long term.
Kenya's third representative side at the Safaricom Sevens, the Chairman's Select is an amalgamation of players knocking on the doors of the Kenya Sevens team. With drive and hunger, this side will be out to leave a lasting impression at this year's tournament.
Hamilton, aka Hammies, was founded in 1875 and recognized as being the oldest rugby club in South Africa.