Former 7’s skipper Innocent Simiyu has been appointed Head Coach of the National Sevens Rugby team following weeks of speculation. Kenya Rugby Union unveiled the 33 year-old to take up Benjamin Ayimba’s post following acrimonious end to his second spell. Simiyu has the prerogative of choosing his assistant with the World Rugby circuit closely calling.
Innocent Simiyu has been announced the new head coach as the Kenya Rugby Union unveiled the Kenya Sevens new technical bench at RFUEA grounds.
The former Rugby Sevens Captain will be in charge of the national team replacing Benjamin Ayimba whose contract came to an end in September 30. Whereas KRU chairman Richard Omwela said after a selection process the Federation settled on Simiyu following his technical knowledge and ability to perform.
“After a selection process we looked at the merits of everybody who expressed interest and we settled on Simiyu considering that he topped the shortlist in terms of technical knowledge and ability to perform.”
Despite being the first coach to lead the national Sevens team to a Cup triumph in the World Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore Ayimba’s name did not feature in the technical bench.
When asked Omwela said “Ayimba was given a chance and we interviewed him alongside all the rest but in the end we settled for Simiyu as the coach we will be able to work with”.
KRU settled on Simiyu after failing to nab New Zealand legend Gordon Tietjens who reportedly decided to go for Samoa Sevens.
Innocent Simiyu who has played for both the National Sevens and the Kenya fifteens holds an IRB Coaching certificate,Level 1 and 2.
“Simiyu is still young hence a good factor to blend with the players.He has played at high level I think he will be able to deliver.”
Simiyu is on a two-year contract, and he is tasked to lead Kenya in the opening leg of the 2017 Sevens World series in Dubai in December.
Meanwhile Erick Ogweno is coming in as the team manager.
Ian Gone Gibbons will be the new strength and condoning coach while Lameck Bogonko retains his slot as the team physio.
Kevin Wambua,who has been acting an interim capacity was appointed the women’s head coach whereas the former player Camilyn Oyuayo taking over as the team manager.
Samuel Njogu is the new Strength and Conditioning coach while Ben Mahinda stays as the team physio.
Jimmy Munene took over the U19s team as the team manager with Stella Mwenda staying on as team Physio.