Rugby Rugby

Ayimba tips Murunga for Kenya Sevens job

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Former Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba (right) with his then assistant Paul Murunga during the 2016 Safari Sevens at the Kasarani Stadium. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – Former Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba has tipped his former assistant and current Homeboyz RFC head coach Paul Murunga to take over the coaching role as the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) prepares to appoint a new boss before the end of the month.

Ayimba who worked with Murunga as his assistant during his spell at the national team including in 2016 when they led Kenya to their first ever World Sevens Series Main Cup title in Singapore believes Murunga is the best bet for the job.

“If you ask me now, there is no other coach better placed for the national team than Pau. (Murunga). He has achieved locally what no other coach has. I mean winning four out of six legs of the circuit is not a mean feat and this is something that he has done repeatedly. Give him the job,” Ayimba said.

He added; “I have worked with him and I know his work ethic, I know what he can do and I know he can handle this job.”

Murunga is a front runner for the job and speaking to Capital Sport, he says he is optimistic of getting the job based on his experience and achievements both at club and national team level.

“When it comes to my achievements, there’s more than winning the circuit. As an individual, I have been with the junior and senior teams in the Olympics and my CV speaks for itself. I have also been able to achieve more as an individual in terms of coaching and technical knowledge,” the tactician told Capital Sport.

He added; “I have been there as an assistant coach and I have also worked with the 15s team. I have learned more along the road and I think I am more than able to take over the job when given the chance.”

Homeboyz head coach Paul Murunga. Photo/Timothy Olobulu

The Kenya Rugby Union is expected to finalize the process of picking up a successor to Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu whose two-year spell at the helm of the team ends next month.

The Union is expected to name the new boss by the end of the month with the Africa 7s and the return of the annual Safari 7s tournament hanging around the horizon ahead of the new World Sevens Series season in November.

Meanwhile, Kenya 7s star Jeff Oluoch who also works with Muirunga at Homeboyz believes the tactician is capable of doing the job if given the chance.

“He is a good coach and understands the game really well so if he is given the job I have no doubt he can do it. But as a player, I am ready to work with anyone because our job is on the pitch to play,” Oluoch who starred for the Shujaas last season noted.

Meanwhile, Murunga has heaped praise on his charges for their emphatic performance in the national sevens series this season where they finished the season with 122 points after getting to five finals in the six legs of the circuit, winning four of them.

Homeboyz RFC celebrating after winning Prinsloo 7s. Photo/KRU

The tactician says the performance was down to a good pre-season and a perfect start which saw them win the opening three legs in Nakuru (Prinsloo), Kabeberi (Machakos) and Sepetuka (Eldoret). Murunga was even more delighted topping it up with the Christie title, one he had not won in a while.

“We had won the series already just after the quarter finals and coming into the semis, our target was to win Christies and I am glad we did it despite being in a tough final,”

“The feeling is good, last year we lost the circuit by two points to Kabras, but we went back to the drawing board and made sur we were able to tick all the right boxes. Winning the first three was a big step to chasing the overall title.” The tactician noted.

Meanwhile he has disclosed the team’s intricate balance of youth and experience has been their secret as they have had a good squad depth to last them the entire season.

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