(Xinhua) -- International
Rugby Players Association will petition World Rugby
Organization to reprimand Kenya and push it to
improve Sevens team players’ welfare ahead of the
World Cup, which starts in San Francisco, USA from
International Rugby Players
Welfare Manager Isaac Boss said it will be hard for
the Kenya team to focus on the World Cup yet they
have family demands and pending bills.
"International Rugby Players will be officially
contacting the Kenyan Rugby Union to address these
concerns and will also raise the issue with World
Rugby in due course," said Boss in a statement.
This will be a major boost for Kenyan players who
are digging deep to have their welfare sorted and
Kenya are currently embroiled in a row with their
Union, who have withheld salaries and commercial
payments to players.
The team coach, Innocent Simiyu, was fired last
week but has since been reinstated after the Kenyan
This was after players taping up sponsors’
branding on their jerseys at the recent Paris 7s,
the final leg of the World Series.
The players have also raised concerns over poor
training facilities and short-term contracts.
"We are supporting the Kenya 7s players who have
not been paid what’s owed to them for months, as
well trying to make a living on temporary contracts.
"Players have families and bills to pay.
"Not good enough anymore," said Boss.
International Rugby Players decried the huge gap
in welfare between tier two countries and the other
countries that run their sports professionally.
"All these teams are expected to compete against
tier one unions, yet they are fighting for basic pay
and conditions against those who should be
"Peace of mind is key to performance.
"The boys have obligations, personal and family
commitments and bills to pay.
"It’s unrealistic for teams to be competitive if
they are worrying about these issues ahead of major
international tournaments, like the forthcoming
Rugby World Cup 7s," said Boss.
"The players have only eight month contracts,
which adds to the uncertainty. Kenya Rugby Union
need to step up and urgently address this whole
Kenya team is due to resume training on Monday
after boycotting their preparations since last week.
Kenya start their campaign at the World Cup
against Tonga with the winner meeting Scotland.
challenges rugby team to go for World Cup glory,
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Secretary Rashid Echesa has challenged the Sevens
rugby team to rise above their petty problems and
clinch the World Cup in San Francisco, the United
Echesa, who was speaking in Nairobi Friday
together with Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala,
when they met the Sevens team wants Kenya to walk
the talk and win the World Cup.
The two Cabinet Secretaries used the opportunity
to reinstate Brand Kenya’s sponsorship to the Sevens
rugby team, Shujaa, ahead of their trip to San
Francisco from July 20-23.
"We have overcome this challenge. Now go and
conquer the world," said Echesa.
The tourism minister had cancelled the 200,000
U.S. dollar sponsorship with the team after they had
blocked the sponsor’s signage on their shirts during
the final leg of the World Series in Paris on June
However, after lengthy negotiation, the sports
and tourism ministry agreed to restore the deal.
"We have opted to talk because the government is
happy and impressed with the progress the sevens
team has had and glory it has brought the country
"That is why we called the players to chat with
"The important thing is the players apologized on
the action they took in Paris because it was
embarrassing to the country.
"Whatever differences they had with Kenya Rugby
Union (KRU) should not have been shown to the global
audience," said Balala.
In join conference with KRU, Balala reassured the
Sevens team that their sponsorship is guaranteed and
the government will continue supporting them.
The team will now have the ‘Magical Kenya’ brand
on their shirt and not the ‘Make it Kenya’ in a new
The two ministers will also discuss with KRU
Chairman Richard Omwela and CEO Ronald Bukusi on the
"It has been accepted globally that everything
you do in Kenya is magical including our Kenya
Sevens team Shujaa’s performances on the
international forum," said Balala.
Kenya Sevens team captain Andrew Amonde was
present in the meeting to confirm that the Ministry
of Tourism will pay players 25,000 dollars in
"The players are sorry for what happened. We are
happy as a team for this and we now focus on what is
ahead to excel at the World Cup," said Amonde.
Echesa had also restored Innocent Simiyu as head
coach after the union had sacked him for the actions
the players did.
The World Cup starts off with their match against
Tonga and winner will meet Scotland.
Kenya will re-instate rugby Coach as players to resume
Kenya Rugby Sevens World Cup likely end as Sponsors