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End of the McGrath era as Wambua is named new Shujaa coach

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Kevin Wambua (left) with his predecessor Damian McGrath
  • The Kenya Rugby Union has not renewed McGrath’s contract
  • Wambua was McGrath’s assistant
  • He will be tasked with leading the team at the Africa 7s

The Kenya Rugby Union has announced Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua as the new head coach of the Kenya Sevens team, taking over from Damian McGrath whose contract has ended.

Wambua, who has also coached the national women’s team and has been a long time assistant with Shujaa, is expected to guide the team into the Rugby Africa Sevens, which will also act as the qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

According to the Union, Wambua will be serving in this position on a full-time basis until the end of the Olympic qualifiers after which his contract will be discussed again.

The Africa Sevens is scheduled for September 16-17 in Zimbabwe, and Wambua will be tasked with guiding the team to a third consecutive qualification for the Olympic Games.

At the same time, he will be assisted by Louis Kisia who guided Strathmore University to a commendable finish in the National Sevens Circuit. The two have also worked together at Mwamba RFC and will be rekindling old memories together.

Amonde into coaching after retirement 

Former Kenya Sevens skipper Andrew Amonde

Former skipper Andrew Amonde has also been named as the Strength and Conditioning Coach, and will be assisted by Chris Brown, who has been brought in on consultancy basis. Brown worked alongside Mike Friday during his stint as the Shujaa coach in 2015-16 and were credited with revolutionising the team.

Amonde retired from the national team after the Tokyo Olympic Games, and last year also announced his retirement from the sevens game. He has played several 15’s matches for his club KCB but this season, has concentrated on coaching the bankers at the National Sevens Series.

Steve Sewe has meanwhile been appointed as the new Team manager. The only two to have retained their places in the team from the previous management is Lameck Bogonko who remains the team’s physio and Eric Ogweno who has now been named as the Team Liason.

“As the Kenya Rugby Union, we are immensely proud and excited to announce the Technical Bench that will lead our Kenya 7s team during the Olympic qualifiers. We have full confidence in Coach Kevin Wambua and his team, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and skill in their respective fields. With their expertise and the unwavering support of our fans, we are confident that our team will make our nation proud as they strive for success on the international stage,” said the KRU boss Sasha Mutai.

Shujaa rebuilding 

Shujaa’s Alvin Otieno during the Commonwealth Games

He added; “Together, we look forward to a promising future for Kenyan rugby and witnessing the incredible achievements of our team on the global stage.”

The Kenya Sevens team is staring at a rebuild especially after a disastrous end to last season, where the team was relegated as a World Rugby Sevens Series core team under McGrath. The Canadian coach was brought in at the start of the season to try and get the team back on top, but this only ended in dismay.

Wambua will look to audition perfectly by helping Kenya qualify for the Olympic Games, and this, might earn him a longer contract with the team.

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