Odera to be unveiled today as Kenya Simbas coach


Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) will today unveil Paul Odera as Kenya Simbas head coach.

Odera is expected to be appointed on a one-year contract after guiding the Kenya Under-20 side to the Junior World Rugby Trophy in July.

In documents seen by the Star, Odera will be assisted by South Africa’s Albertus van Buuren as the backs coach with Jimmi Mnene the new team manager, replacing long-serving Wangila Simiyu.

Mike Owino will be the strength and conditioning coach while Ben Mahinda will serve as the physiotherapist.

Mwamba coach Kevin Wambua will join the technical bench once he finishes up with Kenya Sevens in the World Series in Paris next weekend alongside Mike Shammiah.

Efforts to appoint Kabras coach Hennley Du Plessis as part of the set up have hit a snag with the South African tactician, saying he is currently concentrating on his current job and he is yet to be given a release by his employer.

“I will have to speak first to my employer about it. I have a lot to deal with at Kabras at the moment after the Enterprise Cup final. We are in the process of resuming training ahead of the Sevens circuit in July,” added Du Plessis. 

However, the decision to appoint him is reported to have elicited sharp divisions among the board members with one faction pushing for the appointment of KCB coach Curtis Olago.

Olago, who has led KCB to four Kenya Cup titles in a row, was seen as the favourite to take charge of the team with Odera busy with the Kenya Under-20 team.

“We don’t understand the decision. Olago deserved to be named coach as what he has done with KCB is there for everyone to see,” a source at the union noted.

Last year, the union parted ways with Ian Snook and Murray Roulston from New Zealand after they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Odera takes charge of the Simbas matches in the Elgon Cup against Uganda in Kampala and in Kisumu in June. KRU plans to revive the Victoria Cup between Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Madagascar between July and August.


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