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Kenya 7s coach sacked
By Eric Njiru | Thu 21 Jun, 2018 18:49

Kenya Rugby Union(KRU) has sacked Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent 'Namcos' Simiyu. 

Thursday's meeting by KRU board decided to send Namcos packing over what Raga House understands is as a result of the Fiasco in Paris that saw Kenya 7s mask off sponsor's name. 

"The Kenya Rugby Union has mutually parted ways with Kenya Sevens Head Coach Innocent Simiyu effective immediately."

"He took full responsibility for the display that saw the playing unit blank out sponsor’s branding in Paris Sevens which negatively impacted our country and sponsor’s image," siad KRU through a statement released on Thursday evening. 

Will Webster

According to a source, Namcos told the meeting that he would take full responsibility of what happened in Paris. KRU is allegedly said to have felt that Namcos had become 'rogue' after leading the players to masking off 'Make it Kenya' at Paris 7s. 

Namcos is sacked four months before his contract runs out. He was hired in October 2016 on a two-year contract. Will Webster, Simiyu's assistant, is expected to take charge of the team at the upcoming World Cup in San Francisco, USA in July.

After the World Cup, Kenya 7s will break for off-season -a time all contracts will expire- with the new season set to begin in October with Safari 7s, Africa 7s and Dubai 7s in December. 

Kenya Sevens' first day of training for the upcoming Sevens World Cup did not kick-off as players failed to show up on Thursday June 21, 2018. 

"We are fully aware that the Rugby World Cup Sevens is around the corner and  are taking the necessary steps to ensure our participation," added KRU.

Also read Kenya 7s players boycott World Cup training

Shujaa players were to meet at RFUEA grounds, their main training site and Kenya Harlequins' home, but did not avail themselves on Thursday morning. 

On Wednesday, Citizen TV reported that a sport tribunal hearing between Brand Kenya and Kenya Sevens team came to a premature ending after Simiyu disrupted the gathering in dramatic fashion. The Shujaa boss stormed the hearing and demanded that his players should not be held answerable for the sponsorship protest they staged at the Paris Sevens. 

That sponsorship blackout has since led to a termination of contract between Brand Kenya and Kenya Rugby Union. 

Also read 'Make it Kenya' sponsorship canceled

The 35-year-old former Impala Saracens centre captained Kenya 7’s between 2006 and 2008 and later moved to the 15s team until 2016. During his time as the head coach, Kenya 7s finished 12th at the HSBC World Sevens Series with 63 points. In 2017/18 season, under his watch, Kenya finished eighth with a record 104 points, surpassing the century point barrier for the first time ever. 

They reached two cup back-to-back finals while forward Oscar Ouma who was a stand-in captain for injured Oscar Ayodi in five legs made the 2017/18 season dream team. Further, the team won the Fair Play award for being the most exciting all through the season. 

All this were firsts for the side on the ten-part Seven Series. Namcos was appointed in 2016 a time the Kenya Rugby Union fell out with the then head coach Benjamin Ayimba after the Rio Olympics fiasco. Ayimba had led Kenya to the first ever cup win at the World Sevens Series at Singapore in 2016. 

Also read 

Before Ayimba, Felix 'Totty' Ochieng was in-charge of Kenya 7s after South African Paul Treu resigned in December 2014 citing unfavorable working conditions within the Kenya Rugby Union board. 

Ochieng was assisted by Vuyo Zangqa and Graham Bentz(strength and conditioning)both South African nationalities, who would later sue KRU for wrongful dismissal after a new technical bench headed by Benjamin Ayimba was appointed in September 2015. 

In July 2013, former England coach Mike Friday alongside his assistant Chris Brown, both now with USA 7s, resigned alongside citing citing interference and unfulfilled promises from Kenya Rugby Union. 

In 2017, Kenya 7s strength and conditioning coach English Ian Gibbons resigned just three months into his contract also citing poor relationship with the rugby union.

Eric Njiru
Award-winning, bold, independent Rugby Journalist and Radio Presenter in Kenya, Southern Hemisphere with experience in Match-Day Reporting, News and Interviews. Covering Kenya 7s around the World. Email: ericnjiru41@gmail.com +254726205521
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