NAIROBI, Kenya, October 16 – There is light at the end of the tunnel after national sevens head coach Paul Treu confirmed to Capital Sport some of the 18 senior axed players will return to the team for the second and third legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai and Nelson Mandela Bay in December.
This is after Treu and director of national squad Dennis Ombui met the aggrieved players led by vice captain and Kenya’s record scorer Collins Injera, on Wednesday and agreed to end the controversy as Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) looked into their grievances that includes scepticism about performance contracts and medical insurance among others.
However, the South African maintained the players must sign the performance contracts that will be ready by November 1 and prove why they should be considered in the team.
“We had a fruitful meeting discussing issues on why the players went on strike and chart the way forward. We agreed there is a procedure for any player wishing to come back and we will inform them who will be given the opportunity because as far as we are concerned the strike is over.
“We are championing their rights such like medical insurance and ensure they are met but some will take time but they must be ready to sign the performance contract which is inevitable so KRU will be making an official statement soon,” Treu declared.
The regulars that also include fly-half Biko Adema, Horace Otieno, Patrice Agunda, Oscar Ouma, Oscar Ayodi, Dan Sikuta, Michael Wanjala, Billy Odhiambo, Dennis Ombachi, Eden Agero and Michael Agevi among others will not find it easy back to the team since not all of them will join the new Kenya 7s look.
“Those willing to sacrifice for the national team are invited when we resume training next week. Others might join latter but some like Oscar Ayodi, Oscar Ouma and Michael Wanjala are expected immediately,” the former Blitzbokke head coach explained.
True urged his charges to show commitment and adapt a winning culture in the IRB World Series since they cannot afford to get relegated to the Shield once again just as they did at the opening round in Gold Coast.
“We have to put our house in order first before we create a platform for the team to excel and achieve our target of heading to Olympics in 2016.
“Players must realize rugby is business and they should give more than they did in the past and duel on their personal choices rather than relying on influence. If the team is not going to win, then I will be the one to be blamed and not the Union.”
With Lunch Bar Quin Max Theuri, Homeboyz’s Augustine Lugonzo and KCB’s Fabian Olando sidelined with knocks picked from Gold Coast, Treu hinted he might hand Impala’s Samson Onsomu, and KCB’s Kennedy Moseti a chance.
Commenting on Dubai’s draw where Kenya is pooled alongside England, USA and Australia, Treu termed it as the group of death.
“It’s a killer pool so it’s not going to be easy but sevens is a funny game anything can happen because if the in-experienced boys pulled a shock against Wales then nothing is impossible.
“Against USA, we are not going to look on a perspective that Mike Friday who is their coach now once had an instinct with Kenya, we will focus on the seven players on the pitch. It’s a matter of the players believing themselves and if the teams are good we are also good than them,” the coach stated.
The team that will report to training camp October 22 will be under assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa and team manager Felix ‘Toti’ Ochieng since Treu is set to depart for his country, South Africa on Thursday and return on November 11.