NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya Sevens Rugby coach Innocent Simiyu will not
extend his term in office after his contract expires in October.
Simiyu, one of the
most successful coaches to have guided Kenya rugby team, says he
has moved on and will seek work abroad after his position
together with his technical bench was declared vacant without
any of them stepping down.
“Me applying for
again to coach the national team, I haven’t really thought about
it. I have moved on. I will not apply for the job,” said Simiyu
here on Saturday.
“I believe they
(Kenya Rugby Union) have made the right decision. There are many
good coaches locally and international who can help the team
achieve their targets.”
Simiyu will have to
go despite posting the best performance for Kenya in the World
Series. It was widely expected the Union would renew his
contract but there is bad blood between the technical bench and
the KRU administration.
Under Simiyu, Kenya
was able to surpass the 100 points mark in World Series as it
attained 104 marks. The last time the team came close to this
was in 2013 under Englishman Mike Friday when they collected 99
points on the circuit. Friday was sacked and he moved on to
secure a coaching contract with USA.
In June, Simiyu
owned up to save his players from being punished when he said it
was his mistake the team blocked sponsors signage in Paris leg
of the World Series in protest of their unpaid allowances and
He was temporary
sacked before he was reinstated for the Sevens World Cup in San
Other coaches who
have guided the Kenya Sevens team in the last decade include
Benjamin Ayimba, Felix Ochieng, Friday, Paul Treu (South
The new season
starts in November with Kenya hosting the Safaricom Sevens
series before heading to the World Series in Dubai in December.
KRU said it will have a new coach by November.
Kenya searches for new rugby
Sevens coach, incumbent Simiyu yet to step down
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya is on the lookout for a new coach to take
over the country’s Sevens rugby team ahead of the new season in
November - despite the incumbent coach still claiming his
Head coach Innocent
Simiyu and his technical team learned of the search through
social media when the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) invited interested
candidates to apply on Wednesday.
Speaking to Xinhua,
Simiyu denied he had resigned from his position. “I did not step
down,” said Simiyu on Thursday in Nairobi. “The KRU sent us
termination notices, saying that the union is suffering
most successful national coach, Simiyu and his team of Geoffrey
Kimani (strength and conditioning coach), Lamech Bogonko
(physiotherapist), and Erick Ogweno (team manager) will now have
to re-apply for their positions.
The move has left
many Kenyans surprised, with Simiyu having led the team to
finish with its highest ever points total last season, with 104.
Prior to that, Kenya’s biggest points tally was 99, achieved by
English coach Mike Friday, who has been the USA Sevens coach
Reacting on social
media to Simiyu’s expected sacking, Friday said he was surprised
and unaware of Simiyu having stepped down from his position.
“Did I miss
something or has coach Simiyu stepped down?” wrote Friday on his
Twitter account. “Simiyu, you are a good coach and a good man
and we were all seeing good things from the Kenya team in the
rugby World Series. I hope there is a resolution and you are
able to continue the good work and journey you and your boys are
bench’s last assignment with the team was at the Rugby World Cup
Sevens in July in San Francisco, where the team finished a
distant 16th, a pale shadow of the side that had
reached the semifinals at the 2009 and 2013 editions.
But the real problem
came to the fore in Paris at the final round of the World
Series, when the team blocked the signage of their sponsors
Brand Kenya in protest of non-payment of their allowances,
bonuses and salaries.
This led to a
temporary loss of sponsorship which was only resolved after
Speaking to Xinhua
on Thursday, KRU director of rugby Thomas Odundo said the tenure
of the current technical bench expires on October 31 and that
they are free to re-apply.
assignment next season starts in November, when the country will
host nine overseas teams for the Safari Sevens, before heading
to Dubai in December for the World Series.