By Gary Anderson

October 23 - Former South Africa head coach Paul Treu has been appointed as new head coach of the Kenyan Sevens sideFormer South Africa rugby sevens head coach Paul Treu is to take over in Kenya as the country prepares for the sport's debut in the Olympics at Rio 2016, it was announced today. 

Treu ended his nine-year spell in charge of his native South Africa in August and has now been snapped up by the Kenyan Rugby Union (KRU).

His overall brief, referred to by the KRU as "Operation Rio", is to steer the Kenyans to qualification for Rio 2016, while maintaining Kenya's recent form in the HSBC Sevens World Series which saw them finish fifth overall at the end of the 2012-2013 season.

The 42-year-old, who officially takes up his post as head coach and performance director on November 1, will be the third man at the Kenyan helm this year after Felix Ochieng took over on an interim basis following the resignations in July of Englishman Steve Friday and Chris Brown of New Zealand as head coach and strength and body conditioning coach respectively.

Ochieng, who lead Kenya to a sixth place finish at the Gold Coast Sevens earlier this month, is set to remain part of the new coaching set-up as assistant coach and he will be joined by a number of Treu's backroom staff from his time in charge of South Africa.

These include Vuyo Zangqa as assistant and attack coach, Graham Bentz as strength and conditioning coach and Dr Karen Schwabe, who is set to take up her role as head of sports medicine at the start of next year.

Former Kenyan international Felix Ochieng had been in interim charge of the sevens team since the resignation of Englishman Steve Friday in JulyFormer Kenyan international Felix Ochieng had been in interim charge of the sevens team since the resignation of Englishman Steve Friday in July

"We had an eye-opener when Mike Friday and Chris Brown took our team right to the top in just one season," said Mwangi Muthee, the KRU chairman.

"We thank them for giving us a taste of professionalism and success and we have no option other than to build on that."

Muthee also confirmed that as part of the deal with Treu, who has a Masters degree in Educational Psychology, local coaches and sports science experts will be able to permanently study under the Kenya sevens programme.

"They [local coaches and sports science experts] will register with the KRU and will be provided with access to Treu's training sessions," Muthee said.

"Our intention is to create a pool of local experts and that in about five years we shall be able to export abroad, expertise across the board."

Paul Treu in action for the Springboks during his playing daysPaul Treu in action for the Springboks during his playing days

During his time with South Africa Treu lead his side to 14 HSBC Sevens World Series tournament wins.

The undoubted highpoint was the 2008-2009 season when the Springboks were crowned World Series champions for the first time.

The man from Swellendam in the Western Cape, who represented his country on the field for three years between 1999 and 2002, also oversaw a bronze medal at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Treu will take charge of his new side for the first time at the next round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai on November 29 and 30 before returning to his native land a week later for the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth on December 7 and 8.

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