Kenya Rugby Union chiefs believe they have finally agreed a pay deal that will see striking players return for the four remaining legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, starting with the Hong Kong tournament next month.
KRU Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Kamau told the Nation newspaper the Union had come to an agreement on Monday after meeting with players who have not participated in the last six legs of the Series, and agreed to terms on a return-to-work formula.
A statement from the KRU said: “The Kenya Rugby Union held a meeting with the senior Shujaa players (who participated in the 2017/18 World Sevens Series) and agreed to terms on a return to work formula for the remaining part of the season.”.
Kenya Sevens head coach Paul Murunga said: “The boys are welcome in the team. They will be given an equal opportunity to train and a chance to be selected to play in the remaining legs. We still retain all the players that have been training and playing in the last six legs.”
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Kenya media report that up to 14 players have boycotted Sevens training in protest over reduced salaries stating that senior players, who used to earn between Sh170, 000 and Sh145, 000 last season, are now supposed to earn Sh100,000 (£760 pounds) and below.
The exiled players included all-time leading try scorer Collins Injera and former national team captain Andrew Amonde, Eden Agero, Samuel Oliech, Billy Odhiambo, William Ambaka, Nelson Oyoo, Dennis Ombachi, Leonard Mugaisi and Dan Sikuta. The players involved have made it clear they want to return to help Kenya avo being relegated at the end of the season. Kenya are currently 14th, just four points above Japan in the relegation spot and face Fiji, New Zealand and Australia in Hong Kong on 5-6 April.
Kenyan players were also involved in a pay dispute in 2014-15 and the KRU has postponed today’s AGM to facilitate a Stakeholders meeting with the Cabinet Secretary of Sports.
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