Kenya Rugby League (KRL) technical director Benjamin Ayimba’s immediate plan is to put up a national team in liaison with head coach Edward Rombo in readiness for a series of test matches later in the year.
The 43-year-old Ayimba, who is a former Kenya Sevens coach, was appointed Monday, days after Rombo, another former Kenya Sevens coach, was picked as head coach.
Ayimba and Rombo managed the Kenya Sevens teams in the rugby union version of the game.
“Post Covid-19 pandemic, we need to put together a side that should start training immediately,” said Ayimba. “We shall work with the little resources we have.”
Ayimba said that they are preparing to host a test match against South Africa either in October or November depending on the state of Covid-19 pandemic.
Ayimba explained that his next point of action will be the formation of the National Rugby League that will be played at the last weekend of every month from next year.
“Rombo and I have the right chemistry and zeal that will take rugby league to the next level in this country. We have been holding clinics and mini tournaments in the country,” said Ayimba, who attributed his playing and coaching career to Rombo.
“He told me you don’t have to be the player to become a coach. He told me as a coach, that belief to win a game will make you players win matches for you,” said Ayimba, who guided Kenya Sevens to their maiden victory at the World Sevens Series at 2016 Singapore Sevens.
While appointing Ayimba, KRL chairman Richard “Quicks” Nyakwaka said the tactician will be responsible for developing the technical structures at all levels from grassroots, community and at club rugby.
“He has the duty to formulate high performance plans for players, coaches, referees and affiliate clubs,” said Nyakwaka.
Nyakwaka said Ayimba is an accomplished coach of both the short and full versions of rugby, highly regarded as so far the most successful coach of the Kenya Rugby Union’s teams.
“The capture of Ayimba is a big motivation and a big asset for rugby league owing to his achievement in the sport. We are confident he will establish effective technical structures for clubs and partners and also assist in the coaching department,” said Nyakwaka.
Nyakwaka said they are in the process of strengthening its coaching and technical units, in readiness for its league kick-off and maiden international test match against South Africa.
Rugby league is a full-contact sport played by two teams of 13 players on a rectangular field measuring 68m wide and 112–122 m long.
However, the rugby union has two teams of 15 each while the pitch measures 100m long and 69 m wide.
Rugby league has no mauls, rucks and line outs, while scrums are not contested. So basically, it's a faster code of play unlike in rugby union.