P Ministry of Rugby
Ayimba: Murunga's appointment late 'by two years'
By Patrick Korir | Tue 09 Oct, 2018 14:17

In the ended week Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) announced Paul Murunga of Homeboyz RFC as the new Kenya 7s head coach for the next two seasons.

Pau, as he is famously known to his peers, takes over from Innocent Namcos Simiyu whose two-year tenure wraps in mid-October 2018 days after leading Kenya at the Africa 7s Cup in Tunisia.

Also read 'Pau' named Kenya 7s coach

Murunga is not new to the Kenya 7s setup as back in the 2015/16 season he was the assistant to Benjamin Ayimba for a year till the close of September 2016.

Together they qualified Kenya for the first ever summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Earlier in April of 2016 the two left Kenya on high pedestal after scooping Fiji to the Singapore 7s title - Kenya's one and only Gold at the World Seven's Series.

Ayimba talked up Murunga's elevation to the hot seat and while welcoming it, he was quick to say "the Union was two years late" in making the appointment.

"It was the best choice the Union could ever make. Pau has been in the system all through and virtually all the players in the Kenya 7s team have gone through his hands or have worked with him before. He is the only one that can command respect from senior players in the team,"

"I believe that with him on board he will stabilize and solidify our position on the World Sevens Series between positions six and eight then finish it off with an Olympic cycle in 2010,"

Ayimba had tipped Murunga for the job at the end of his tenure in 2016 but that came to pass as KRU opted for New Zealander Gordon Tietjens who none the less detoured to Samoa handing former Kenya 15s and 7s star Simiyu the chance to assume the role.

In fronting Murunga, a former Ulinzi and KCB forward who was capped by the Kenya 7s and 15s in his playing days, Ayimba considered a seamless transition in the team structure.

"Though the Union was late by two years, his appointment creates continuity in the team. While he is in charge he can now take the opportunity to groom the next team handlers in the likes of Collo (Collins Injera), and Andrew (Amonde) to take over the team in the future. Hopefully they will be the ones given the chance to the next Olympic cycle (2024)." he said

Kenya 7s technical bench positions were floated in late August and at the closure of the application window the incumbent Simiyu did not reapply for his position neither did Ayimba. 

Also read Kenya 7s positions advertised

"I did not apply because I am done with serving Kenya 7s. I achieved all I wanted to with the team and you will not be seeing me there again,"

Commenting on Simiyu's tenure Ayimba said; 

"Namcos was destined for greatness unfortunately the Union does not appreciate hard work. He was a bit shaky in his first year and was vulnerable but made up for it in the second year to finish on a high. He leaves a much stronger person with his dignity fully intact,"

"What happened to him happened to me and we hope that the Union does not do the same for the man now in charge." he added

Murunga will be on boarded proper to his new Kenya 7s head coach role mid of October after Simiyu sums up his assignment at the Africa Cup in Tunisia. 

Pau will be assisted by Mwamba's Kevin Mwema Wambua who takes over the assistant coaches role from Will Webster. Long serving Physio Lamech Bogonko was retained for another two years as Geoffrey Kimani stayed on as the Strength and Conditioning coach. 

Patrick Korir
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