Fourteen coaches both local and international have applied for the vacant Kenya Sevens’ head coaching job.
Out of the 14 coaches, 11 of them are foreigners with New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and United Kingdom also represented in the race to succeed New Zealander Paul Feeney who resigned in May by mutual consent following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The job was re-advertised last month owing to lack of interest from foreign coaches with Kenya Rugby Union focusing on local coaches.
KRU’s director of rugby, Thomas Odundo, said interviews are ongoing and a shortlist will be announced next week with the new head coach expected to be announced in the second week of August.
Odundo said the process will be competitive and the union will choose the best candidate for the job. “The role is open to everyone and we are looking for the best candidate to take over Shujaa and transform them into a world class outfit ahead of the season,” he noted.
“The individual must have a minimum of three years of experience as a head coach in a Division One club or elite squad and a minimum World Rugby level coaching certification in either Sevens or 15s,” he added.
Kenya has had a high turnover of coaches in the past decade with the likes of Mitch Ocholla, USA’s Mike Friday, former South African coach Paul Treu, Felix Ochieng, Innocent Simiyu and Paul Murunga handling the side.
In a wide-ranging interview, Odundo cast doubt if the Kenya Cup League will ever be completed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The league was first cancelled before being suspended.
“We are still waiting for green-light but it will be hard for rugby, which is a contact- sport to resume when non contact disciplines like tennis and golf haven’t. Four months are gone and there seems to be no communication from government,” he added.
Meanwhile, World Rugby has canceled the opening rounds of the 2020/2021 Sevens Series earlier scheduled for Dubai and Cape Town due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
World Rugby in a statement said: “It has been decided that the the combined men’s and women’s Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the HSBC World Seven series which was provisionally scheduled for November 26-28 and December 4-6 respectively will not take place due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of Covid 19 season.”
“WR and its partners continue to focus on delivery for the reminder of the 2021 men’s and women’s series while working in full collaboration with all stakeholders amidst a challenging Covid 19 environment,” the statement added.
A working group chaired by WR executive committee and council member John Jeffrey including representatives of host and participating unions, players and coaches has been formed to review the reminder of the series.
Last month, WR awarded New Zealand the 2019-2020 World Sevens Series titles in both the men and Women following the cancellation of the final four legs of the circuit.