Kenya Rugby Union(KRU) has appointed Paul Odera as the new Kenya Simbas head coach for a period of the next one year.
A statement from KRU on Thursday said “Paul Odera comes in as Head Coach.”
Effective Friday May 31, 2019. He replaces New Zealander Ian Snook whose contract was ended by KRU for missing World Cup qualification.
His technical team shall comprise of Jimmy Mnene (Team Manager), Ben Mahinda (Team Physiotherapist), Edwin Boit (Team Analyst), Michael Owino (Strength and Conditioning Coach) and Albertus Van Buuren (Backs Coach).
Kenny Andola will continue coaching Chipu.
Odera is currently handling the Kenya U20 Chipu that will head to Brazil in July for the World Junior Trophy. He told Raga House that at the moment he will handle both Simbas and Chipu before turning full concentration to Simbas after the World Trophy.
However, he says both Simbas and Chipu will be ran on one programme for easier progression.
“The plan is to run both programmes together for easier progression. Most of these young players are the ones to go to the next World Cup.”
Jimmy and Michael have worked together with Odera for the last four years as the management of Chipu. Ben Mahinda on the other hand has been part of the Lionesses technical team.
Edwin Boit has worked with Chipu and Simbas in previous assignments providing comprehensive analysis of each player’s statistics after training sessions and matches. Albertus played in the Super Rugby back in 1996 before moving to New Zealand.
With the second leg of the Elgon Cup between hosts Uganda Cranes and Kenya Simbas falling a time Chipu will be in Brazil, Odera and KRU are expected to decide on who will take charge of the team in Kampala.
Odera kicks-off immediately with trials on Saturday June 1 at RFUEA where he will be looking to get up to 35 players.
“Chipu are also coming for the trials as a team. We want them to be part of the trials and see how they play against the senior guys,” said Odera.
Kenya Simbas recently missed out on qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup but there is all to play for in the next showpiece to be held in France in 2023.
“I believe we can qualify for France 2023. We have good players and that’s why I took the job. Key thing is not to discriminate anyone because of the age. It’s about working hard.”
Odera coached Kenya U19 in 2005 before returning in 2015 and eventually leading Chipu to continental showpiece success and qualification for World Junior Trophy in 2019.
Apart from rugby, he's also the head of Geography at Peponi House.