2024 Rugby Super Series
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When the technical benches for the 2024 Rugby Super Series franchises were announced, a pattern that would perhaps excite many was visible. A new breed of coaches was selected to lead the four men’s franchises. The move injects a breath of fresh air and excitement around the local rugby scene. 

After taking a break for almost a decade, the organizing committee faced the challenge of re-introducing the competition with a bang while still keeping things fresh. And re-introduce the tournament they did, naming former Kenya Internationals at the helm of all four teams. 

The Lions will be led by former Kenya Simbas and KCB lock Oliver Mang’eni. Paul Murunga will be in charge of the Rhinos while Maxwell Adaka will lead the Buffaloes.  

Buyachi in-charge of Cheetahs

Two-time Kenya Cup winner with Nakuru, Lawrence Buyachi will be in-charge of a franchise that he represented for four seasons (2009-2012), the Cheetahs. Back then, the Cheetahs were based in Nairobi and included players from among other clubs, Impala, which he played for in the club competitions. 

For the 2024 competition, the Cheetahs will be based in Nakuru. Players from Menengai Oilers, Nakuru RFC, Impala, Homeboyz Kabarak and University of Eldoret make up the franchise.

Despite his best efforts, Buyachi never got to lift the Rugby Super Series title with the Cheetahs. That changed when he moved back to Nakuru where he finally won the title with Ndovu in 2013.

“I played for two franchises during my time as a player. I spent four seasons with the Cheetahs. Unfortunately, we did not win anything. I then moved back to Nakuru where I played for Ndovu, winning the 2013 Rugby Super Series title and clinching bronze in 2014,” says the former Kenya Simbas International. 

As a player, Buyachi terrorized defenses. He has since instilled the same work ethic to the players he has coached since his transition into coaching. His previous coaching stints were at Kabarak University, South Coast Pirates and Kisumu RFC. 

His last coaching stint as Head Coach was at the lakeside city of Kisumu where he led Kisumu RFC to second place in the 2022/23 KRU Championship season and subsequently got promoted to play in the 2023/24 Kenya Cup season. He then jumped ship and joined his former Ndovu franchise teammate Gibson Weru at Menengai Oilers as his assistant.

Leading a franchise is no easy task. As a young coach, he feels that he and the other coaches have something special to offer. “I think it was a bold move by the organizers and the Kenya Rugby Union to have us, young coaches lead the franchises.”

“It gives us a platform to inject some young blood into the entire set up because I believe we all have something to offer. I am excited and I cannot wait to compete. Leading an elite squad is not easy but then again, we are born for such challenges,” says Buyachi. 

Importance of the Rugby Super Series 

The World Rugby Level II accredited coach believes the competition is important if we want to give the national team the quality it deserves. “The Rugby Super Series is the best thing that can happen to the National Team. As has been the case for the last nine years, only two teams have been dominating the league. We therefore cannot get the necessary competition from the league.”

“With the Rugby Super Series bringing together at least 25 top players for every franchise, we are able to get better competition for the national team to select players from. We pick only the best players from each club thus giving the national team what they deserve in terms of quality,” says Buyachi. 

The 2024 Rugby Super Series will be played on four match days in four different venues. The competition kicks off on 4 May 2024 and Buyachi believes his boys are ready to go. “The mood in camp is very positive, getting a majority of the boys in camp. We had a small glitch with Impala and Homeboyz players, but they will join us next week. We have three more sessions before we compete.”

Buyachi will be lucky to have some players with Rugby Super Series experience. Menengai Oilers’ Elkeans Musonye (Ndovu), Impala’s George Okowa (Chui) and Nakuru’s Philip Owuor (Ndovu) all played in the very last edition in 2014. “The excitement in camp is palpable and the boys are ready to compete. I have at least three players in my camp who played in the Rugby Super Series a decade ago. For the rest this is a new challenge, and they are all ready to play.” concludes Buyachi. 

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