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Friday axed as rugby sevens head coach

INJERA-IRBNAIROBI, Kenya, May 13- Mike Friday has been sacked as the national sevens head coach and his assistant Felix Ochieng elevated to the position the Director of National Squads and Elite Performance at Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), Philip Jalang’o announced Monday.

“KRU is terminating the contract of Mike Friday as Kenya 7s Head Coach and Chris Brown the Strength and Conditioning Coach, effective immediately.

“This decision is not based solely on wins and losses, but on a number of factors by which the Head Coach has been evaluated. At this point, in regard to our Kenya 7’s program, our players need mentorship, leadership and guidance to maximize on their performance along the goals and objectives of the KRU,” Jalango said in a statement.

According to him the stunning decision to relieve the man who led the team to their highest points tally of 99 at the just concluded HSBC World Series was taken ‘After a comprehensive review of the Kenya 7’s rugby program during the 2012-2013 season, and with the support of the Board.’

“The Head Coach has failed to exemplify the vision, mission and core values of KRU at certain points of the season. Effective today, the KRU Board has appointed Assistant Head Coach Felix Ochieng, as the interim Head Coach and Bronson Weir from Western Province to assist him, through the remainder of the season.

“Felix has been with the program 10 years, and the Board has great confidence in Felix’s ability, and Bronson Weir to guide the team to the world cup. The KRU Board is not giving up on our long term goals for the Kenya 7’s program,” the performance director continued.

Kenya finished fourth at the London 7s after losing to England in the third place play-off to place the nation at number five on the global rankings.

“Today’s announcement is about addressing the present and the future needs of our Kenya 7’s program. We want to make the most of our remaining season with the World Cup and put our players in position for success.

“I want to thank Mike Friday and Chris Brown for everything they have contributed to Kenya 7’s over the past one year. The Kenya 7’s family have always shown great character and tremendous heart, and enjoyed a huge support from the board, sponsors and Rugby fraternity.

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“They have also enjoyed considerable rugby success on the IRB circuit this year. In those regards, Friday has led a model program – all of which has made for a difficult decision today.

“But as previously stated, my primary focus as per the KRU Board mandate is our players and the future of our Kenya 7’s program. As this is an institutional personnel issue, we shall announce a new structure for the 2013-2014 season, after the Rugby World Cup. I cannot comment further, and I trust you will all respect the position of the Kenya Rugby Union Board,” Jalango’s statement concluded.

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