Kenya Sevens names Briton
as new coach
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Briton William Webster will take over the mantle
and lead Kenya Sevens team as head coach to the World Cup in San
Francisco in the United States in July.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has opted to name Webster as the new
coach taking over his senior Innocent Simiyu with whom he served
as assistant coach.
Simiyu has been fired after he owned up to the decision by
the team to block out sponsors logo off their shirts during the
final round of the World Series on June 9-10 in Paris.
The players said their action was triggered by frustration
after they failed to get paid bonuses and salaries, which had
accrued to about 40,000 U.S. dollars.
This is despite the team having entered a financial deal with
Brand Kenya to a tune of 200,000 dollars. Kenya government has
since cancelled the sponsorship deal with KRU.
"KRU has mutually parted ways with Kenya Sevens head coach
Innocent Simiyu effective immediately.
"He took full responsibility for the display that saw the
playing unit blank out sponsor’s branding in Paris Sevens which
negatively impacted our country and sponsor’s image," said KRU
in a statement on Thursday night.
"We are fully aware that the Rugby World Cup Sevens is around
the corner and are taking the necessary steps to ensure our
However, insiders said Webster has been promoted to head
coach role as Kenya will be out to face Tonga in the World Cup
preliminary round with the winner facing Scotland in the last 16
However, it was not clear when the team will resume training.
Webster has been Simiyu’s deputy for the past season.
The World Cup is due from July 20-22 in San Francisco, USA.
Ex-Kenya Sevens coach
blast rugby union for sacking competent Simiyu
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former Kenya Sevens head coach Mike Friday has
defended his colleague Innocent Simiyu after he was sacked
saying he has the ability to succeed elsewhere.
The USA coach Friday, who trained Kenya in 2012/13 season
hitting the 99 point mark, said Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) erred in
terminating his contract saying Simiyu was the right man to
guide the team to greater success and had come to gain the trust
of the players.
This season, Simiyu guided Kenya Sevens team to reach 104
points, a historic mark, never attained before as Kenya finished
eighth in the World Series log.
"He is competent and Kenya must have embraced him if they are
to achieve their milestone.
Simiyu guided the team to break the 100 point mark, something
never done before under hard conditions and made two Main Cup
He has made Kenya team a serious contender for the World Cup
Sevens in San Francisco," said Friday from Los Angeles.
Friday warned Kenya risk performing badly at the World Cup if
they fail to resolve the player’s welfare.
The World Cup will be held in San Francisco, USA from July
20-22 and Friday believes Kenya was one of the title contenders
despite the side war it is embroiled in.
Kenya has twice reached the semifinals of the World Cup in
their last two appearances in Dubai 2009 and Moscow 2013.
"Perhaps it’s time for President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is a
passionate rugby man, to step in and bring order for the Kenya
team who have always been wonderful ambassadors for the country
and were recognized this year for being so," added Friday.
This season, they reached two Main Cup finals in Vancouver
(Canada) and Hong Kong.
They also took part in the Commonwealth Games.
But with a new coach coming on board, Kenya should embrace
for a bumpy ride as he must massage egos of players and union
officials to steer the ship in turbulent waters.
Coach Simiyu, who has been in charge for the last two
seasons, was given marching orders on Thursday after he took
responsibility of his players action, having blocked the logo of
their sponsors Brand Kenya off their shirts during the last leg
of the World Series in Paris on June 10-12.
Kenya government has reacted by canceling the deal worth
200,000 U.S. dollars leaving the union with no choice but
terminate the coach’s contract.
However, the team, which was due to start its training in
Nairobi on Thursday ahead of the World Cup in USA, failed to do
"I wish to take this opportunity to thank God for his
"I leant about my sacking from the media.
"KRU are yet to communicate with me officially.
"I must wait for that before making any comment.
"However, I must thank the Kenya Sevens fans all over the
world and my family for their continued support," said Simiyu.
"It was a great honor to be your coach and wish you all the
best in the World Cup.
"Let’s keep the focus and achieve of our mission."