NAIROBI, January 21- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) will contract players in the national rugby sevens team based on performances, Capital Sport has established.
Speaking Thursday, Director of Squads and Competitions at KRU, Oscar Mango, refuted claims there was a stand-off with players over contracts saying the outlined proposals had been discussed and agreed by both parties.
“We could not rush to give the players new contracts because there is not time however, they have seen the contracts and they have submitted back with the things they want considered,” Mango told.
He maintained 20 core and seven developmental players will be signed up for the national team for the 2015/16 season that is already underway with the side leaving on Sunday for the third and fourth legs of the HSBC World Series tour of Wellington and Sydney.
Reports in local media suggested unrest among senior players with the team yet to be formally contracted since September when their existing agreement that guaranteed fixed salaries and bonuses as well as medical benefits lapsed at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Delays by title-sponsors Kenya Airways to remit money with the national carrier caught in a gripping financial crisis delayed the contractual agreement between KRU and the players.
Under the new terms that will be sealed when the team returns from Sydney, players will be assessed based on performance while those in the development side and are over 30 years will not be considered if they don’t make the core team.
“We have agreed on few details which we will conclude once they return from Sydney since we can’t give it to half the players who remain behind. We now have a sponsor who has given us the first installment to cater for salaries and allowances,” he added.
Mango disclosed the technical bench that is headed by coach Benjamin Ayimba had agreed terms and all contracts will be back-dated to October for outstanding dues to be settled.
The team that will be contracted will also compete at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio-de-Janeiro but Mango said only players who will be fit will be drafted in the 18-man squad for the shorter version of the game that is making its debut this Summer.
After an impressive performance in Cape Town 7s where they finished fourth, Kenya are ninth on 20 points and Ayimba will be looking to maintain consistency in Wellington and Sydney.
In New Zealand, Shujaa will take on Canada, Australia and Portugal in a relatively fair pool D.