Players resume training to chill KRU, Shujaa chaos

The Kenya sevens team resumed training on Wednesday following a week-long stand-off between the playing unit and national governing body Kenya Rugby Union (KRU). The Shujaa had absconded training over unpaid allowances and the sacking of head coach Innocent Simiyu after the infamous Paris Sevens protest had led to the termination of the team’s sponsorship contract with Brand Kenya. An online uproar greeted Simiyu’s dismissal as the public demanded the reinstatement of the man who had led Kenya to achieving an all-time high 104 points in the global HSBC circuit. It took the intervention of Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa to cool the simmering temperatures as Simiyu was rehired as Shujaa boss. Echesa who held two separate meetings with the senior players and the Shujaa technical bench promised to look into the grievances afflicting Kenya Rugby Sevens players as well as the general plight of the game. The move, mid-wifed by the sports boss came after a lengthy closed door meeting between him, the Rugby Union Board of Directors and the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer. The team held a quick training session in the morning under the watchful eye of Strength and conditioning coach Kimani Geoffrey at the Kenya Rugby Union grounds with Simiyu expected to engage the boys in tomorrow’s second training session. The Ministry also resolved to work with KRU on pending payments of the players’ salaries and allowances, while the Union was challenged to, in future, consult the ministry before key decision are made. With the wrangles settled Shujaa will now shift their focus to the upcoming World Cup Sevens rugby in San Francisco USA from July 20-23 where they will play Tonga in the pre-round of 16 in the opening match of the Sevens World Cup on July 20.

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