Former Shujaa coach Simiyu hints at quick restart of rugby season

Former national rugby sevens head coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu believes it is still too early to write off the year for the rugby fraternity after the sport was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Shujaa captain told Citizen Digital there could be a return of local sports and tournaments in the coming ‘one or three months’.

He added that the international sports may take a bit longer.

“It also depends on how the situation pans out and the country’s plans on opening up their country,” explained Simiyu.

The 36-year-old former Impala Saracens centre captained Kenya Sevens between 2006 and 2008 and later moved to the fifteens team until 2016 has advised the rugby players to continue with their personal training so as to keep fit for the game.

“Fitness is a personal responsibility, players need to be doing guided personal programs that will help them transition easily to the team training,” said Simiyu.

Simiyu in the 2017/18 season of the World Rugby Sevens Series helped Kenya finish eighth with a record 104 points, surpassing the century point barrier for the first time ever.

Shujaa also reached two main cup back-to-back finals.

Innocent Simiyu has eulogised the late Allan Makaka whom they played together with in the national team following a traffic accident on Saturday 23 May 2020 describing him as a real champion and a legend of the game.

“He was arguably one of the fastest rugby players in the game who played the game with passion and heart.”

“He was a master of the kick and chase game and we used to depend on him when things were thick to win us games as he could run and run for the whole game as he had gas and lungs,” said Simiyu.

“Outside the pitch he had a wonderful heart as he carried the team spirit with him, he was always the one who organised team events and his stories were the best from Mumias boys stories to USIU to life.”

A great loss indeed for the family, friends, colleagues and rugby fraternity. May he RIP.

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