Lucrative Deal for Kenya Rugby Players

Conceivably, a Kenya rugby player is now able to earn a tidy Sh5.25 million a year, making the game the best-paying locally.This is the maximum amount of money each member of the Kenya Sevens squad will be able to earn in salary and performance bonuses over the next two years, thanks to this week’s record Sh290 million sponsorship by national carrier Kenya Airways. Amateur rugby-playing Kenya will never be the same again. “The sevens team is the flagship of Kenyan rugby.

“This game is for the young and if they can make it, they will become millionaires and make something out of their lives from playing rugby,” KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee said.The deal for the elite 18 players to be selected will cover one year and is renewable.

Each player will have a take-home salary of Sh70,000 and winning bonuses from the newly-established nine-leg International Rugby Board World Sevens Series.

Big motivation

Making it to the Main Cup quarter-finals will earn each player $1,000 (Sh98,000) and a semi-final appearance $2,000 (Sh196,000).If the team reaches the final, each player will get $3,000 (Sh294,000) in bonuses while winning a leg will fetch a cool $5,000 (Sh490,000).

“With this kind of income, players can choose to play rugby full-time. If the players are pursuing studies or doing other jobs, the union will have no problem as long as the technical bench is satisfied with the player’s form and input matches or surpasses the demands of the team,” Muthee said.

A technical bench made up of a head coach, assistant coach, team manager and gymnasium and toning coach will also be under a salary package.

The coach, who will be the overall manager of the squad, will have a take-home salary of Sh120,000, while the rest of his team will get Sh90,000 including the captain.This is the first time Kenya’s rugby is taking a plunge at fully professionalising where the actors are contracted under meaningful salaries and benefits.

One-year contracts will be signed by the selected players later this month and will be back-dated to August 1, putting the players among the country’s minority upper class income-earners but with the added benefit of fully-paid travels abroad.On top of that, the players will have a full medical insurance cover and will also be given free training on financial and social matters.

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