KRU stalemate with senior sevens players continues

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The stand-off between Kenya Sevens senior players and the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) is not likely to end soon after the union announced that there will be no improvement in salaries for the 2019/20 season.

Kenya’s national men team, Shujaa, survived the chop from World Rugby Sevens Series in the last leg in Paris after being on the edge throughout the season due to the absence of the senior players who were protesting a drastic reduction in salary. Shujaa finished 13th last season with 37 points just two places above the relegation zone.

The experienced lot had opted out of the team after KRU reduced salaries from between Sh145,000-Sh170,000 to Sh100,000 and below just before the start of the 2018/19 season.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Safari Sevens tournament slated for October 18-20 at the RFUEA grounds, KRU vice chairman Thomas Opiyo was adamant that the terms will remain the same for the new season.

“The bone of contention was money and terms have not changed. They are not going to change simply because we have no sponsors,” said Opiyo on Thursday.

Opiyo’s sentiments came after KRU Director of Rugby, Thomas Odundo had hinted that Kenya could still go to the Africa Sevens and 2019/20 World Series without the seasoned players.

“Options are still open (to have them back). Everybody’s hand is up for selection. However, those who featured in the 2018/19 season have one foot in the team.”

Meanwhile Opiyo insists that the technical bench will remain intact with Paul “Pau” Murunga continuing as head coach assisted by Kevin “Bling” Wambua.

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