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How ‘rugby deep state’ blocked Mwanja

By Alex Njue
Thursday, September 10th, 2020
KCB coach Dennis Mwanja (right) chats with Kenya Rugby League director Charles Cardovillis and Nondescripts coach Willis Oja ‘Foxy’ (left) during the 2019 Kakamega sevens at the Bull Ring, Kakamega. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE
In summary

It has emerged that a unanimous Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) board members decision, overturned an initial plan to plant former international and KCB assistant coach Dennis Mwanja as the national rugby sevens team head coach.

It is believed that a plot had been hatched by one of the directors who People Sport cannot disclose his name as he refused to comment on the issue, had hatched a plan to plant Mwanja and have former coach Paul ‘Pau’ Murunga as his deputy, despite the fact that the panel of selectors picked to identify the best coach for the team had settled for Ian ‘Namcos’ Simiyu, going by his credentials.

According to an inside source, the selection had been whittled down to four candidates: Simuyu, Mwaja, Murunga and Welsh coach Nick Weekly. 

The three-man selection panel made of one union director Thomas Odundo, former sevens head coach New Zealander Paul Feeney and World Rugby High Performance consultant Peter Harding interviewed all the four, but the fact that Weekly was a foreigner, he was knocked out in early stages, leaving the race among the three.

Out of the remaining trio, Simiyu was seen as the better option going by his qualifications and experience.

Meanwhile, the return of Innocent Simiyu as the head coach has been lauded by concerned stakeholders, fans and players alike.

Speaking to two senior Shujaa players who sought anonymity, the decision to give Simiyu the nod was a sound one and a positive indication that all bad blood had been buried, however, they urged the union to now address the overwhelming players concerns in regards to contracts.

“The return of coach Namcos is a great move and we are now all focused on returning Shujaa its lost glory,” a senior Shujaa player told the People Daily.

He added: “The coach named was building something but whatever happened then is now history.

Now the union should let him pick his technical team without interference but first start by addressing us because we are currently pressed since our contracts got terminated.”