Paul Murunga Named New Kenya Sevens Head Coach
Paul Murunga named as head coach of the Kenya Sevens Rugby team on a two-year contract.
Paul Murunga has been announced as the new Shujaas head coach, signing on with Kenya Rugby Union on a two-year contract.
Murunga, who replaces Innocent Simiyu, will be deputized by Mwamba Rugby head coach Kevin Mwema.
According to Kenya Rugby Union’s director of national squad Ray Olendo, Murunga beat a list of six applicants which included four foreign coaches.
“We had a shortlist of six coaches; four foreigners and two locals. Murunga’s experience in the team before is what stood out. His ability to handle a team locally and internationally is what sold us. He was Ayimba’s assistant and that’s when Kenya was the most successful having won Singapore and got to the Olympics,” said Olendo.
Murunga, who was Shujaa assistant coach in 2016 when the team lifted the first ever HSBC Sevens Trophy in Singapore, described his new appointment as a tremendous honor.
“I am very excited, it’s been a journey in terms of coaching and for me this is the ultimate challenge,” said Murunga.
“I’ve been in the set up as the Assistant Coach but now being the Head Coach the focus will be mostly on me.”
“From past experience, I believe I am ready for the new role. I’ll continue putting God first and ensure I am able to work according to his will. I am sure we shall have a good season as we build up a very strong side that will continue raising the flag high.”
Murunga is regarded as an innovative and imaginative coach and once, early in his coaching career, had a habit of sitting near the top of the stadium during games and using a collection of lights to communicate instructions to his team.
He also has a reputation for preferring to work in the background rather than in the spotlight and apparently dislikes media appearances.
His first challenge will be to prepare a Shujaa team low on confidence in this year’s Safari Sevens due November 9-11 at the RFUEA grounds in Nairobi.
Kenya Rugby Union added that Murunga and Mwema will be joined by Geoffrey Kimani who maintains his role as the strength and conditioning coach while Lamech Bogonko retains his position as the team physiotherapist.