19 March 2019

Kenya: Senior Kenya 7s Players Agree to Return

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) have finally struck a truce with some senior Kenya Sevens players on a return to work formulae.

The KRU Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Kamau disclosed that the Union has come to an agreement with the players to resume training for the last four legs of the 2018/2019 World Sevens Series.

However, it's left to be known whether the truce will hold after the players, who trained on Tuesday with the rest of the team, threatened not to continue training until they are given their appointment letters.

Kamau said that they held a meeting on Monday with the senior players, who have not participated in the last six legs of the Series, and agreed to terms on a return-to-work formula for the remaining part of the season.

Kenya Sevens head coach Paul "Pau" Murunga was happy to welcome the players back.

"The boys are welcome in the team. They will be given an equal opportunity to train and a chance to be selected to play in the remaining legs," Murunga said on Tuesday.

"We still retain all the players that have been training and playing in the last six legs."

However, the senior players, who were part of the team that resumed training on Tuesday at the RFUEA grounds, expressed shock that they were not given their appointment letters as agreed in the meeting.

"What has shocked us is that someone at the KRU board wants to see how we are training before issuing us with letters. That is unacceptable since that was not part of the agreement," said one of the players, who sought anonymity.

"We won't attend the rest of the sessions without the letters."

The player indicated that they have agreed to take what KRU has offered so as to rescue Kenya from being relegated at the end of the season.

"KRU board has people who don't care about our welfare. At times it's not about the money, but how some of these officials treat us," said another player.

Kenya Sevens is placed 14th, just a place above relegation with 18 points, having not reached the main Cup quarterfinals in the last six legs, something that has not happened in many seasons.

Close to 16 senior players have boycotted Kenya Sevens training in protest over reduced salaries.

Senior players, who used to earn between Sh170, 000 and Sh145, 000 last season, had wanted the union to uphold the same structure for the 2018/2018 season.

KRU, which is experiencing financial crisis, had adopted a lower salary structure where senior players are now supposed to earn Sh100,000 and below.

Kenya Sevens face Fiji, New Zealand and Australia in the next leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong due April 5-6 at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Kenya

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