The 2017 -2018 Kenya Cup season will be played on a one off format to accommodate the late start of national Sevens circuit and early kick-off of next year’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers.
The just concluded season saw the 12 Kenya Cup teams being pooled into two conferences of six sides each with teams playing each other in their respective conferences before shifting to play the other teams from other conference in the 19-week season. Under the new proposal, the Kenya Cup Season will take 15 weeks to give Simbas adequate time to qualify for World Cup qualifiers slated for June/July next year. For the 2018-2019 season, the Kenya Cup will go back to two conferences format. In other changes, the second tier championship sides will be divided in two conferences of six teams each.
Every team will face off with five of the teams in their respective conference on a home and away basis before concluding their campaign with a one off clash against teams from the other conference. Concerning match officials, Kenya Rugby Referees Society announced that the pool of elite referees had increased from six refs to 12. This, it was revealed, has been brought about by the High Performance sessions that were held in the past 12 months.
Club managers were also urged to watch their conduct on the touch-lines while players are required to have Level 1 coaching so as to be at par with the rules of the game. The meeting that was attended by club chairmen and secretaries, however, disagreed on the Kenya 7s selection criteria proposed by head coach Innocent Simiyu. Simiyu wanted to keep 15 players in current 7s squad who would be joined by 15 others to be picked from the Sevens circuit. The coach and the director of national squads Ian Mugambi are required to come up with a new criteria in the next 10 days.
Among those who attended the meeting include—KRU secretary Oduor Gangla, fixtures director, Moses Ndale, fixtures and competitions administrator, Martin Ngunjiri and KRRS secretary Alfred Okwemba among others.