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Tietjens snubs Kenya Sevens’ coaching job

By AYUMBA AYODI October 14th, 2016 2 min read

Former New Zealand Sevens tactician Gordon Tietjens has ducked out of a deal to coach Kenya Sevens at the eleventh hour.

Sources had intimated to Nation Sports that Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) had sealed a deal to engage the 60-year-old coaching legend on Tuesday evening.

It has emerged that the New Zealander is in Samoa to take over as coach of the Pacific Island nation’s sevens team.

A press conference to unveil Tietjens as Kenya Sevens coach had been convened on Thursday morning but was called off two hours before it could begin following the new development.

KRU board had also settled on former Kenya 15s and Kenya Sevens skipper Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu as Tietjens’ deputy.


The 33-year-old Impala utility back, who captained Kenya Sevens between 2006 and 2008 and the 15s side from 2008 to 2011, sustained a career-threatening knee injury during the 2011 Bamburi Series.

“We were in talks and there is nothing to hide… but if Tietjens doesn’t come, we have other alternatives,” KRU secretary general Oduor Gangla said.

“When two of three things happen people must agree or disagree. Important decisions are not easy to make and negotiations must go on,” explained Gangla, who did not explain why Tietjens declined Kenya Sevens job offer.

“Let me pick (Manchester United coach) José Mourinho as an example,” Gangla said. “For long, he had been touted as the next coach at Old Trafford but it took long before he finally signed as Manchester United coach.”

Gangla said although KRU had interviewed several coaches with some coming on top, the process was still ongoing after the press conference was cancelled.


“We can’t lock out any interesting option. We are looking at several options and we shall announce the coach once all parties agree,” said Gangla. The new coach to replace Benjamin Ayimba will be named by Monday.

While Kenya waited with bated breath for the unveiling of the new technical bench, Tietjens was reportedly in Samoa to take over as the new coach of Mau Samoa Sevens.

Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) has however refused to confirm or deny reports that Tietjens is the new coach of the country’s sevens team.

According to the country’s leading daily Samoa Observer, Tietjens was pictured with SRU’s CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i arriving at the airport to confirm the worst kept secret in Samoa.

Earlier this week, Faleomavaega said an official announcement would be made at the end of the week. “The Union hasn’t issued an official release yet,” he told Samoa Observer.