Innocent Simiyu on a tackle against a Samurai player during Tusker Safari Sevens cup semi-finals at the RFUEA grounds in 2010. Photo/Courtesy

Source: Citizen TV Kenya

Former captain Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu is the new Kenya 7s head coach, taking over from Benjamin Ayimba upon Kenya Rugby Union’s (KRU) Monday confirmation.

Simiyu is a former sevens and 15s skipper. The 33-year-old Impala centre, captained Kenya Sevens between 2006 and 2008 and the 15s side from 2008 to 2011. Simiyu sustained a career-threatening knee injury during the 2011 Bamburi Series.

He returned in 2014 to coach and play for Impala where he won the Comeback of the Year Award at the annual SOYA Awards.

Simiyu will lead a technical bench with Ian Gibbons as Strength and Conditioning Coach, Lameck Bogonko as the Team Physio and Eric Ogweno as Team Manager.

Kevin Wambua has meanwhile, been elevated to the head coach for the women’s national side, Lionesses alongside Samuel Njogu (Strength and Conditioning), Ben Mahinda (Physio) and Camilyne Oyuayo (Team Manager).

Photo/Courtesy
Kenya Sevens won the eighth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, beating Fiji 30-7 to claim an historic Cup title. Photo/Courtesy

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Mike Shamiah who took the Lionesses to Rio 2016 Olympics therefore, joins Ayimba in the managerial scrap heap as the fall out between the technical benches of both Kenyan sides and Union directors came to full cycle.

Kenya sevens immediate Coach Benjamin Ayimba who is outside the country has wished the new lead all the best saying that he anticipates all players to respect him.

Ayimba who was among the 14 applicants for the job however said he does not regret after KRU declined to extend his tenure pointing out the difference he brought at the Shujaa camp.

There are only six weeks left before the start of the HSBC World Series a challenge that Simiyu must brace up to in preparing his squad.

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The appointment of Simiyu who has been hailed as one of if not the best player of his generation will be seen as KRU’s attempt to pacify the purists of the local sport following the circus that saw officials severe their ties

In 2006 Ayimba, took over from Bill Githinji who had coached him in the sevens side for his first stint. Simiyu was an integral part of Ayimba’s team that went to the 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup semifinals in Dubai.

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