By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- New Zealander Ian Snook has been appointed to coach Kenya's 15's rugby team, taking over from South African Jerome Paarwater who was sacked in December last year.
Paarwater had led Kenya's 15's team, also known as Simbas, for five years, during which he came close to leading the country to a maiden Rugby World Cup appearance in England 2015.
The union had high hopes of Kenya making it to 2015 World Cup in England but Simbas lost to Zimbabwe in the final match when needing only a point to qualify for the finals.
"The Kenya Rugby Union announces the appointment of Ian Snook as the Head Coach of the Kenya fifteens national team, The Simbas," KRU said in statement issued in Nairobi.
The New Zealand national brings with him a vast wealth of experience, having served in various high profile coaching and consulting capacities in New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland, Laos, Japan, Croatia, Italy and South Africa.
Snook will be assisted by his countryman Murray Roulston, who has previously served on the coaching staff of Super Rugby side Highlanders and also served in various coaching and consulting capacities in New Zealand, Japan, Trinidad & Tobago and Romania.
The duo are currently working with the technical team of Dominique Habimana, Charles Ngovi, Richard Ochieng, Chris Makachia and Simiyu Wangila on their conditioning program and are expected in the country during the first week of April.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Rugby Union is targeting a series of build-up matches against European opponents in the run up to the Rugby Africa Gold Cup which doubles up as the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.