As foreign teams streamed in the country for last year’s KRU Safari Sevens, the Kenya Sevens team was thrown into state of confusion as most senior players refused to play for the national side due to contract issues. Head coach Paul Treu was forced to call young and inexperienced players in the national team with Andrew Amonde the only senior player.

The situation got worse after the Safari sevens and Treu was once again forced to name in experienced side for the Gold Coast IRB series and it was the same case during Dubai and Port Elizabeth series even though it was reported the union had struck a deal with the players.

This was the second year in a row the players had refused to play due to contract issues and many believed the situation should have been averted had the union listened to the players.

Incoming chairman Richard Omwela is not new to such issues and he has vowed he will work towards ensuring the contracts are harmonized to make sure repeat of last year does not happen again. Omwela says he will meet the players to discuss the contract issues among other things.

“we have had the talk with the players even before I became chairman because that is critical, it’s very nice to have contract but if you cannot honour because of financial constraints then you will not have achieved what you wanted” said the new chairman.

Omwela first task will be to find out how much money is available and how many players in the national team can be given contracts. The union will also look into ways of re structuring the contracts in a bid to ensure there is equality to all players who will be given contracts.

KRU had introduced performance based contract and Omwela is determined to implement the plan.

“If I give you a contract there are certain expectations I want from you because I’m paying you money, contract reviewing and performance is important in any sector, be it government or private, so that performance contract has to be in force, there is no two ways about it” He added.

Another issue Omwela will seek to clear from the Union is ensuring the KRU directors will not be involved in squad selection for the national team. Last year it was reported some KRU directors were involved in national team selection and Omwela says they have no business running day to day business at the Union.

The City lawyer is yet to meet the players from all national teams but he is ser to meet the Sevens players during the Hong Kong IRB series. The new chairman is set to travel with the team on Sunday.

Meanwhile the new chairman has insisted the Union has not neglected the Fifteens national team despite the team failing to take part in this year’s Vodacom due to financial issues. The national side has not been involved in any active programme since last year when they failed to qualify for this year’s world cup.


Photo Credit: Kenya Sevens