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KRU to unmask new 7s coach next week

NAIROBI. Kenya, May 30- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) will unveil a new foreign coach for the national sevens team next week as it embarks on restructuring the side ahead of next year’s Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia.

Union chairman Mwangi Muthee says they are out to learn from slip-ups they made last season where Kenya finished outside the top ten in the IRB Sevens World Series for the first time in five seasons.

“We noted that we were losing by slim margins to those strong teams in the series, so all we need is to inject a bit of professionalism in the technical bench to give players the extra push to overcome the slight challenges.

“We have several coaches in line for the post but we will definitely have a foreign coach to bring in the experience we require as we look forward to making a mark in the World Cup and other upcoming assignments,” Muthee added.

The new development is a result of last week’s disbanding of the entire national sevens technical bench lead by head coach Mitch Ocholla, Charles Cardovillis (assistant coach), John Onyango-Mbai (team manager) and Felix Ochieng (performance analyst) after the conclusion of the 2011/2012 World Sevens Series Season.

Speaking on Wednesday when he received a Sh2m sponsorship from Toyota Kenya for the Toyota Rugby Academy, Muthee stressed that the side will be reorganized to avoid the pitfalls that saw them change players often between legs that affected overall performance.

“We will build up a squad comprising players selected on merit and availability to steer clear of a repeat of scenario where we contracted 18 core players but ended up using more than 30 by the end of the campaign which was not sustainable,” he charged.

Former England sevens rugby coach, Mike Friday has been touted as the likely appointee for the post though Muthee declined to divulge more details stating that the union will have the new man assisted by several local coaches to have some continuity when he leaves after his term.

“We don’t have any vendetta against our coaches but we have to bring in the shift since we have been taking them from the Kenya Cup level of competition and throwing them in the deep end expecting results which was a tall order,” he explained.

The motor dealers’ sponsorship will go to the academy consisting of students selected from the secondary school competitions that form the national under-19 squad.

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“We inspected the land allocated to the academy at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani early this week where we will set up permanently in the long run assisting us in the development of the game,” said Muthee.

The players are usually grouped in camp during the school holidays and have already made a mark with several of them participating for clubs in the Kenya Cup and international tournaments for instance, Dan Sikuta who played in the recently concluded Rome Sevens.

Other notable graduates of the academy include the national rugby 15s team prospects, Robert Odhiambo, Billy Odhiambo and Samuel Montari.

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