Kenya Rugby Union seems to have moved on from contract issues with 'senior' Kenya 7s who have allegedly turned down contracts handed to them for the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series.
Collins Injera, Andrew Amonde, Willy Ambaka, Dennis Ombachi, Sammy Oliech, Nelson Oyoo, Billy Odhiambo and Dan Sikuta have not played in the new season.
Raga House understands that the players have allegedly rejected contracts offered to them by KRU. We understand that KRU was offering Ksh 65,000(before tax) to senior players and Ksh 50,000(which drops to around 40k after tax) to junior players per month.
Last season, when Sportpesa were KRU’s headline sponsor, Kenya 7s players used to be paid per caps earned. The lowest paid players used to take home Ksh100,000(before tax), 15-29 caps took home Ksh 115,000, 30-44 caps were entitled to Ksh140,000 while those with over 45 caps earned Ksh165,000 per month.
Caps in this case are tournaments played at the HSBC World Sevens Series.
KRU has since argued that without a sponsor in place they cannot promise hefty packages like last season thus offering Ksh 50,000 and Ksh 100,000 respectively.
Kenya 7s kicked off the 2019 season with Brand Kenya through ‘Make it Kenya’ as the sponsor but that sponsorship has since ended meaning they may play with blank shirts at Hamilton 7s. Bidco is the only remaining Kenya 7s sponsor but they are back-shirt sponsors.
The new contracts, as Raga House learns, have extremely trimmed down winning bonuses. This season, a Cup win will see each Kenya 7s players take home Ksh 100,000. This is down from Ksh 600,000 when Sportpesa were sponsors.
Reaching Cup final will now be paid Ksh 50,000 down from Ksh 300,000, winning Bronze will earn the players Ksh 40,000 down from Ksh150,000.
Fourth place finish which was Ksh100,000 is now Ksh 35,000 while a fifth place finish or plate win will attract Ksh 30,000 and Ksh20,000 for a place in Cup quarters.
KRU CEO Sylvia Kamau was on Tuesday quoted by Daily Nation saying they “can’t give salaries and big promises that we won’t meet but at the same time, we still want these players. It’s a catch-22 situation for us.”
“We will have no otherwise but to select new players since we don’t have sponsors to sustain big pay,” Kamau said yesterday.
With Kenya 7s having collected one point in Dubai and three in Cape Town it means they did not earn any bonus.
On Monday, six new players(Quins back William Reeve, KCB winger Jacob Ojee, KCB centre Peter Kilonzo, Mwamba's Mike Agevi, Charles Kuka of USIU and Homeboyz's Bush Mwale) were invited to train with Kenya 7s to fill up the numbers left by the ‘senior players’.
Kenya’s next assignment is Hamilton 7s in 17 days where they are set to play South Africa, France and Scotland.