•The World cup qualifiers are slated for June 2022 leaves Paul Odera's charges with just one year to prepare for the competitive qualifiers against the likes of powerhouse Namibia, a resurgent Zimbabwe and Uganda.
•Simiyu guided Shujaa to its highest points tally in 2018 with 104 points and will be seeking to replicate the performance as he targets a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Safety will be paramount when Rugby returns in the new year due to the Covid- 19 pandemic, according to Kenya Rugby Union chairman Oduor Gangla.
Gangla said they are awaiting government to allow them to resume league competitions. "We are in very unusual times and it's not just sport but life generally but we hope come the first quarter of next year, we should be able to resume,” he added.
The union plans to test players for Covid-19 before the season resumes, something Gangla considers a tall order.
“We might have to go the football way, where we ask Nairobi Metroplitan Service (NMS ) to test our players before action resumes but its a proposal we are considering,” said Gangla.
KRU is also looking at the possibility of testing the players at Kemri offices countrywide at a subsidised cost to ensure cash-strapped clubs are in a position to do the tests.
Gangla further said the magic bullet could be the vaccine which is being touted by the big western nations but said it's still along shot.
“A vaccine will go along way but we are in Africa and we don't know when it will get to us with the priority being Europe and USA,” added Gangla.
On sponsorships, Gangla said the union may have to craft a new model to attract sponsors especially with Rugby expected to be played behind closed doors for the short term when it resumes and given the financial constraints sponsors are experiencing at the moment.
“If you look at it, fans bring the colour and noise to the venues and sponsors are able to get mileage but with the way things are right now, we may have to think differently.”
Gangla was, however, delighted that both Shujaa and Lionesses have been allowed to start preparing for the Tokyo Olympics next year in July.
He added that they will plan a fundraiser for Simba ahead of their trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa in April as part of preparation for the Africa Cup.
The World Cup qualifiers are slated for June 2022 and this leaves Paul Odera's charges with just one year to prepare for the competitive qualifiers.
Shujaa finished a disappointing 12th with 36 points in the World Sevens Series, where New Zealand were declared winners of the shortened 2019-2020 World Sevens Series due to the Covid-19 pandemic after six tournaments.