Richard Omwela, the KRU chairman has confirmed that the playing unit and technical bench had been disbanded.
As result, the KRU Selection committee has been mandated to start the process of selecting a new team after the fourth tournament of the Kenya Rugby Union National Sevens Circuit which started at the weekend with Christie Sevens won by hosts Kenya Harlequin FC. Omwela declined to give further details but another official shed some light.
“We initiated talks with some of the senior players with a view of getting a way forward. But, it appears they read another script and believed they were due to appear before a disciplinary committee and therefore came with their lawyers. As a result, we opted to let their contracts run out as stipulated on July 31, 2015 and start a new process,” another top KRU official stated.
With the contracts lapsing, those who had been contracted by KRU now have an equal chance to impress and play in at least three of the four opening tournaments if they wanted to be considered for selection. Only 18 players will be contracted.
One contract for the new players
There has been a big change after KRU opted for one contract for all players. Instead of two tiers, all the players will be under one contract. The KRU official explained there appeared to be laxity by players in the top tier.
Some of those interviewed by sportsnewsarena.com lauded the bold decision by KRU to disband the team. A former vice captain lamented there was no passion. “You know when you think it’s your right to be in a team, you become comfortable,” he stated. He added that lack of a feeder system was a big contributor after “we built our house from the top because we wanted quick results. Now we have a problem since there is no talent coming through. We should reconstitute the team and give new blood a chance,” he advised.
A selector confirmed the team is being reconstituted with a short list of players available after the fourth tournament. “It is tricky with the Olympics qualifier coming up,” the selector acknowledged. He added that the playing unit had become a monster and players had no fight in their belly. Instead, they had a bag of excuses for not delivering and at the same time demanding to be paid.
“The tier one and two contracts have been thrown out of the window. All squad get the same package and those making it to the final 12 get an extra bonus. This makes the whole squad work harder.
Discipline is another issue. The question is, is this the right time seeing the Olympic qualifiers are around the corner?” he posed.
A former coach had the last say explaining KRU were serious about overhauling the team and breaking up various ‘alignments’ within the current playing unit which made it impossible to play the game and produce positive results. “Things have to change to salvage our situation,” he advised.
In what could be a scathing attack, the coach added: “Kenya 7’s RFC are not in rugby for the best reasons. The players have decided that this is their time to fame at all costs. It’s money, money, money. They are currently un-coachables,” he alleged.
He concluded that the trend had reached worrying proportions and it became very difficult to discipline the players because of the ‘bond’. “If one of them was not selected, the rest would boycott training. The problem is not the coaching but the players who try to influence the system,” he added.
Well, is this the right time to overhaul the team? Have your say. The places in the Kenya Sevens team is up for grabs in the next three tournaments and Christie Sevens showed there was much more potential.
Biko Adema, Dan Sikuta and Patrice Agunda were outstanding at Christie Sevens. Word is, some of the players have been remorseful and spilled the beans to KRU. They are ready for a new beginning!