Shujaa captain explains why Kenya 15s have traditionally struggled to match Sevens' standards

RUGBY Shujaa captain explains why Kenya 15s have traditionally struggled to match Sevens' standards

Mark Kinyanjui 16:00 - 10.11.2023

Vincent Onyala has detailed why South Africa have dominated African rugby in both categories, while Kenya have only seemed to do well in the Sevens version

Kenya Sevens co-captain Vincent Onyala believes Kenya Simbas have lacked consistency due to the tendency by the management to keep making changes to the technical bench.

Onyala, who has grown into an influential figure with the sevens side since making his debut in 2018, drew comparisons to South Africa great Jonny ‘Rassie’ Erasmus, who set a culture when appointed coach in 2018 that laid foundations for the Springboks to win back-to-back World Cups.

The KCB player has revealed that Shujaa's success in 2016 in Singapore was down to the fact a majority of those players had served the team for a very long time which made them understand each other easily.

“As I talked earlier about having senior players who have served the team for quite a long period of time and hence it affected the result that they had in 2016 when they won in Singapore,” Onyala told Pulse Sports.

“You would find that a guy like ‘Rassie’ Erasmus has been in charge of that team for more than 10 years now.

“Having a better team is built on statistics that the coach knows and the individual relationship that the coach has with the team is what steers them to greater heights, and unfortunately, when a coach in Kenya builds that with the players, two or three years, he is no more."

Onyala has appeared to ask the union not to sack Simbas coach Jerome Paarwater and his coaching staff despite the fact that they missed out on the Victoria Cup very narrowly last week when they lost to Uganda in Kampala.

“Our biggest challenge with regards to 15s is that you find that we have a coach for, lets say, one year, two years. Like the previous weekend, you find that we just missed the Victoria Cup by a single point," he added.

“You find the boardroom warriors gunning at the coach. I won’t be surprised if the coach goes, but now at the end of the day, we will not be building towards having a better team.

“That is our biggest problem as far as 15s rugby and winning more trophies is concerned.”