NAIROBI, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Seven foreign coaches have expressed interest to guide Kenya Rugby Sevens team ahead of the new World Rugby Series circuit, which starts in Dubai in December.
A total of 12 applications have been received for the vacant head coach position after incumbent Innocent Simiyu resigned.
"The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has received applications for positions on the Kenya Sevens technical bench. The head coach position has received a total of 12 applications, of which seven are foreign candidates while five are locals," said Richard Omwela, Chairman KRU Tuesday in Nairobi.
Kenya has had two foreign coaches in the last decade with Englishman Mike Friday registering success as he led Kenya team to finish fourth at the World Series circuit in 2013. He was however overlooked as the country made changes in its board.
Kenya then selected South Africa's Paul Treu to guide the team in subsequent season, but he failed to jell with the playing unit overseeing one of the worst performances the team registered in the premier world tour.
KRU reverted to local coaches with Felix Ochieng taking over before rehiring of Benjamin Ayimba, one of the country's most successful local coaches.
Ayimba led the team to its first ever Main Cup win in the World Series winning the Singapore Sevens crown in 2016.
However, it is the incumbent Simiyu, who has helped the team to attain its highest point tally in the 10-legged World Series this year when his side topped 104 points, five more than what Friday attained in 2013.
But bad blood between the technical bench and the KRU board has seen Simiyu resign prior to the team heading to the World Cup in San Francisco.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa intervened and Simiyu was reinstated only for his position to be advertised without his knowledge last month.
"Eight applicants have expressed their interest in the conditioning coach position. This includes three foreigners and five locals while nine local applicants are interested in the physiotherapist's position. The team manager post has attracted 11 people," said Omwela.
The short-listing and interviewing process will take place this week. The World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 will be hotly contested by 15 core men's teams and 11 women's teams.
The new season promises to be competitive as it will serve as part of the qualification campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The new series will again be contested across 10 rounds from November 2018 to June 2019.