Nairobi - Kenya
have named former player Innocent Simiyu as their new Sevens rugby
coach after failing to nab New Zealand legend Gordon Tietjens.
Simiyu, a former national team captain takes over from fellow Kenyan
Benjamin Ayimba on a two-year contract, and he is tasked to lead Kenya
in the opening leg of the 2017 Sevens World series in Dubai in December.
"Simiyu came out on top of the list during the interviews, hence his
appointment," Kenya Rugby Union chairman Richard Omwela told a news
conference on Monday.
It had been widely reported that Tietjens would be joining the Kenyan team.
However Tietjens, who stepped down from his coaching position with
the All Blacks Sevens after a disappointing 2016 Olympic campaign,
decided to go with the Samoa Sevens squad.
Omwela said Simiyu, who captained the Kenya Sevens squad between 2006
and 2008, would be assisted by a team of four local coaches.
Their task is to turn around the fortunes of the Kenyan team which
under-performed at the Rio Olympics, where they did not win a single
"We seem to have moved away from how to play the Sevens and that is
what Innocent has to work on. We want to improve on our number eight
position in the HSBC World Sevens rankings," Omwela added.
Kenya are drawn in Pool D of the Dubai Sevens alongside France, Japan and Australia.