The 2016 Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar Rugby have appointed South African Henley Du Plessis as their head coach.
The 42-year-old Du Plessis, who until his appointment was Currie Cup side Boland Cavaliers forwards’ coach, was unveiled by Kabras Sugar Rugby chairman Philip Jalang’o on Tuesday in Nairobi.
Jalang’o said Du Plessis, who is a World Rugby (WR) Level III coach and WR coaching educator, will be their full time coach for the next three years.
Du Plessis has coached at Boland Cavaliers whose players are eligible for selection to the Stormers Super Rugby franchise since 2008 before the Kabras Sugar assignment.
Boland draw players from the Cape Winelands and West Coast districts of Western Cape Province, and play out of Wellington at Boland Stadium.
Du Plessis replaces former Kenya Simbas and Sevens player Charles Cardovillis, who coached Kabras for one season, winning the 2017 National Sevens Series and finishing second in 2017/2018 Kenya Cup.
Besides coaching Kabras Sugar to local league and other tournament victories, Jalang’o said Du Plessis, who played for South Africa’s Springboks "A", will head the construction of a High Performance Centre for rugby in Kakamega.
Jalang’o said Du Plessis will head the High Performance Centre project and will be assisted by fellow South African Jerome Paarwater, who has been named the technical director.
Jalang’o said Paarwater, who has not been engaged on full time basis, will just be an advisor hence will be in the country before the ground breaking of the High Performance Centre in October in Kakamega.
In other appointments, Richard Ochieng has been named strength and conditioning coach while David Ngigu is the team manager.
Peter Gitonga is the pysio while Du Plessis’ assistant will be named in due course.
Jalang’o said that Du Plessis, who has coached Boland Cavaliers, will be able to produce the much desired results with Kabras Sugar.
Jalang’o said Kabras has been in elite game for five years now but it’s a high time they made changes to push the club to new level.
Jalang’o said it’s through setting up a High Performance Centre in Kakamega that Western Kenya and Kabras would be able to produce excellent players.
"We also want to build technical capacity and that is why Du Plessis will be important since we share the vision that will enable Kabras Sugar grow," said Jalang’o.
"We are looking forward to exciting times at Kabras."
Du Plessis, who retired from playing after a neck operation in 2008, won Currie Cup First Division three for Boland and once as captain in 2006.
Du Plessis, who is married with three daughters, said he understands Kenya rugby well especially with Kenya Sevens dominance in the World Rugby Sevens Series and the World Cup.