10 things to know about the new Kenya 7s coach
Thirty three year-old Innocent Simiyu has been named as Kenya sevens new head coach. Here are 10 things to know about this former Impala centre.
1. Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu was born on 24 Apr 1983 in Nairobi. He comes from a sporting family with his older brother Victor Sudi and younger Nato both playing for the national sevens and fifteens teams.
2. Innocent Simiyu’s first love was basketball then football being introduced to rugby by his elder brother Victor Sudi in 1998 upon joining Nairobi School.
3. After Nairobi School, he followed his brother Victor to Impala RFC where he has spent his entire playing career. They were later joined by Nato and Victor later left for Kenya Harlequin.
4. He was named the Kenya Rugby Player of the Year in 2011. He dedicated the win to the late Joshua “Tariq” Gathumbi who played for Strathmore Leos and Impala RFC as well as the national sevens team.
5. Namcos earned over 30 caps for Kenya 15s playing his last game in August against Hong Kong. He made a remarkable recovery from a near career ebding injury to win back his place in the XV set up playing against Zimbabwe and Namibia in July.
6. The former Africa Leopards player captained Kenya Sevens team in from 2006 to 2008 under coach Benjamin Ayimba, the man he is replacing.
7. The 33-year-old Impala centre, sustained a career-threatening knee injury during the 2011 Bamburi Series. Simiyu returned to the pitch in 2014 to coach and play for Impala winning the Comeback Award during the Sports Personality of the Year (Soya) Gala.
8. He played 121 matches on World Rugby Sevens Series (formerly IRB Word Series) scoring 320 points. He scored 58 tries and 15 conversions. He reieved two yellow cards and a red card in his sevens career.
9. Innocent Simiyu is an insurance professional and currently works at Resolution Insurance (founded by his former teammate and Impala RFC chairman Peter Nduati) as a Reinsurance and Partnerships Manager