Rugby union considers recalling ‘rebel’ players
National Sevens coach Paul Treu is under increased pressure to recall “rebel” senior players to his squad, ahead of the upcoming leg of the HSBC World Series in South Africa next weekend.
This development comes in the wake of the team’s worst ever performance at the global competition during the second leg in Dubai this past weekend.
Treu’s team suffered heavy defeats in all its pool games against Australia, England and the USA, for a total of five losses in six matches.
“There will be changes to the squad before we play in Port Elizabeth, that is for sure. The technical team could even recall some of the senior players,” Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Mwangi Muthee told Nairobi News on phone from Dubai on Sunday evening.
Sources within the team have revealed that Muthee chaired a crisis meeting with the team’s technical bench in Dubai yesterday morning, in which the subject of recalling the “rebel” players was explored at length.
The Union is in the meantime expected to address the team’s performance in a statement on Monday morning, amidst suggestions of an internal revolt by the current players in solidarity with their colleagues.
The axed players have not been part of the national team set up since getting involved a contractual disagreement with KRU last September.
They have to date missed the Safaricom Sevens tournament, Gold Coast and Dubai legs of the World Series.
Meanwhile, the team’s performances has consistently dipped in the absence of the quartet, leading to calls from fans on social media, directed at the two parties to settle this impasse and consequently recall the senior players.
“The seniors (players) need to be recalled to the team and help out the young players. This current set up comprises several youthful players who are trying their best but have been so overwhelmed. At this rate, the team will collapse,” former national coach Benjamin Ayimba said.
Shujaa is currently placed 14th out of 16 teams after the opening two legs, ahead of the next round of matches against South Africa, Wales and USA. Kenya has already lost to all these teams this season.