Kenya Rugby Union on Friday confirmed Paul Feeney’s exit and immediately advertised the position of the Kenya 7s Head Coach.
According to the advertisement by KRU, the post is only open to Kenyan Nationals. Coaches are working towards submitting their applications by the 19 June 2020 deadline and its yet unclear who will be interested in the role but Scrummage takes a look at the potential coaches who can take over the job:
He is currently the assistant coach for the Kenya 7s and maybe the favourite to replace Paul Feeney. Wambua has served as an assistant coach for close to two seasons. The tactician worked under Paul Murunga and maintained the slot under Paul Feeney.
The former Kenya Lionesses boss came close to taking the slot just before the 2018/19 season, but Kenya Rugby Union board opted for Paul Murunga who was relieved off his duties after just a season in charge. He was also linked with the job just before the start of the 2019/20 season but the Union once again went for Paul Feeney. Having been in the setup for two consecutive seasons and impressed on the local scene with Mwamba in the sevens, he might be next coach.
2. Dennis Mwanja
The Ironman guided KCB to reclaim the National 7s Title which they had last won in 2014 while he was an assistant coach. The Bankers were able to play in four finals of the 2019 campaign and collected 116 points. His side failed to play in the semis just once in the 2019 Campaign. Mwanja’s side has been getting better each season, in 2017 they bagged 83 points while in 2018 they got 94. They would then rise to claim the title last season.
After succeeding on the local scene, the man who scored 285 points thanks to 57 tries in 147 matches for Kenya maybe keen to return to the International scene as a Head Coach.
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Gibu, as he is commonly known in the rugby circles, has build Oilers from scratch and they are now competing with the big boys. The Oilmen are in their second season in the top tier and have already qualified for the Kenya Cup playoffs. In the shorter version, the coach has had his fair share of good performances. He was the first coach to lead Nakuru to win the National 7s Circuit, with Wanyore making history as the first side outside the city to bag the 7s title. He has guided youthful Oilers to three final appearances in the circuit, two of those coming last season.
Weru has done well with a young squad and his performances leave fans thinking- what can he do if he gets the senior and best players in the country on his side?
4. Innocent Simiyu
His 2018 exit may cast doubts if he would go for the job once again but has proven that he has what it takes to lead the side. He took the Kenya 7s job after Benjamin Ayimba’s tenure. Ayimba had guided Kenya to the first-ever Cup win at Singapore and they had bagged 93 points, finishing seventh. After taking over, Simiyu was under fire in his first season as the side dropped to 12th with 63 points.
The former Impala man would pick in the second season becoming the first Kenyan coach to lead Kenya to two consecutive Cup finals and beat the point tally set by Mike Friday leading Kenya to a record 104 points. Though he failed to star at the World Cup, he was leading the team to a better place. He is one of the fans-favourite and they would love to see him back.
Pau left the Kenya 7s Head Coach role after just a season. The team finished the season with 10 points above the relegation zone. The team needed the final tournament to be safe from relegation. The Coach who has two National 7s Circuit titles to his name may feel he needed more time with Kenya 7s. He may also feel he would have done better with senior players at his disposal hence going for the job again.
MOJO, as commonly known in the rugby cycles, might be another potential replacement for Feeney. He led Shujaa in 2011/12 in a season that the team managed 40 points.
Ocholla had a consistent run with Nakuru in the 2019 Circuit save for the final leg -Driftwood 7s when the side underperformed. He might feel his now fit to lead the team once more.
Fans favourite- Benjamin Ayimba was recently appointed as the Technical Director to the Kenya Rugby League and chances of crossing over back to the Rugby Union maybe minimal same to former Kenya 7s assistant coach Charles Cardovillis.
And as it has happened in the recent Kenya 7s appointments, maybe the board make another surprise appointment.