Pay dispute could weaken Kenya Sevens

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    09 Jan 2019     Getty Images

A pay dispute with the cash-strapped Kenya Rugby Union has resulted in several top players rejecting contracts and they have been boycotting training.

Salary structure changes have resulted in reduced pay offers to players, and they are reported to have been offered nearly half of what they have received in the past.

Players thought to be involved in the boycott include: Collins Injera, the second-highest try scorer win World Series history, former captain Andrew Amonde, William 'Lomu' Ambaka, Samuel Oliech and Nelson Oyoo.

The group had been involved with the Kenya XV's bid to gain Rugby World Cup qualification and haven't trained with the Sevens side since their return.

Players who took part in the Dubai and Cape Town legs of the World Series this season, including captain Eden Agero, have also boycotted training.

Should the dispute be settled before the Hamilton leg there was no guarantee absent players would be included in the squad.

Coach Paul Murunga told Kenya's Capital Sport that he was concentrating on training the younger players remaining in the squad. The dispute was now about the union and the players, he said.

"I am disappointed, of course, but I have no control over it.

"If they get to agree then we will welcome them into the team but as for now as a coach I can only work with the guys coming for training. As times go, the junior players will get better."

Returning players would have to fight for their positions against the younger players, he said.

"If they were there and if we started with them it would have been better," he said.

That would have allowed younger players to have been introduced as required.

"But now we have to manage with the younger players and give them confidence as we go on," he said.