Category Archives: Rugby

Rugby: Kenya Cup Week 7 Preview

The Kenya Rugby Union signed a five-year contract with Radio Africa Group in October 2018 which sees Bamba Sports broadcast all KRU sanctioned matches. This Broadcast Partner has aired the first six Kenya Cup double headers within Nairobi but this coming Saturday, 19th January, they will be in Nakuru at the Nakuru Athletics Club airing the Menengai Oilers vs Strathmore Leos match which kicks off at 2:00pm followed by mid table clash between hosts Top Fry Nakuru and Menengai Cream Homeboyz.

You can watch these matches on Bamba Sports Channel Six or stream live via this link: http://www.BambaKenya.co.ke

Nakuru will head into this match coming from a 21-36 loss in the hands of the Kenya Harlequins whereas Menengai Cream Homeboyz won their first match of 2019 beating Blakblad 35-23. Nakuru’s loss has dropped them from the sixth position to the eighth on the Kenya Cup log while Homeboyz have moved up one position; from eighth to seventh.

The tenth placed Menengai Oilers will take on twelfth placed Strathmore in what is a must win match for both sides if they are to keep their hopes of not getting relegated alive. Oilers have won one match so far while Strathmore are on a six-week loss streak.

Nairobi will host the other four matches: Kenya Harlequins win over Top Fry Nakuru RFC saw them move up one spot and are now third on the log. They are away at the University of Nairobi grounds playing Machine who suffered a 3-50 loss in the hands on the defending Champions KCB in week five at the Lion’s Den in Ruaraka. Machine’s performance has seen them remain eleventh in the standings.

At the Kenyatta University Grounds, second place KCB will be hosted by the ninth place Blak Blad. Blak blad gave Homeboyz a run for their money over the weekend despite their 23-35 loss at Jamhuri Grounds. The same venue will see Nondies host the only unbeaten side in the league- Kabras Sugar RFC. Nondies last minute penalty awarded them a 22-20 win over the Resolution Impala Saracens at the RFUEA Grounds and they have moved up from the fifth to the fourth position on the log while Kabras remains top with a five-point lead over the second place team. Kabras cruised into week six of their unbeaten run beating Menengai Oilers 41-5.

Resolution Impala Saracen’s loss to Nondescript RFC resulted in them dropping to the fifth position. They head to the Railways Club for their clash against Stanbic Mwamba who are slowly but surely finding their footing in the league. Despite having a slow start when the 15s league kicked off in November Kulabu’s performance seems to be improving per week; they have moved up from the 10th to the sixth position in a span of three Match Days.

Week 7 Matches:

Menengai Oilers v Strathmore Leos – 2:00pm NAC

Top Fry Nakuru v Menengai Cream Homeboyz – 4:00pm NAC

Blakblad v KCB – 4:00PM Kenyatta University

Mean Machine v Kenya Harlequins – 4:00pm University of Nairobi

Stanbic Mwamba v Resolution Impala Saracens – 4:00pm Railways Club

Nondies v Kabras – 4:00PM Jamhuri Grounds

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Ghana Rugby Club Championship Fixtures Announced

The Ghana Rugby Football Union (Ghana Rugby) has announced the fixtures for its 2019 Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) that is scheduled to kick off on 19 January 2019 (Cape Coast) and 20 January 2019 (Accra).

The ten-team Club Championship is annually played in two Pools in Accra and Cape Coast.

In Cape Coast Dennis Foundation, Griffons, Stallions, UCC Spartans and Western Cheetahs will battle for a spot in the Semi-Finals that will be played in Cape Coast on 23 February 2019, hosted by the CentWest Rugby Association. CentWest will be hosting two of the matches involving Western Cheetahs in Takoradi to give exposure to the game in the Sekondi-Takoradi area.

The Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) is scheduled to start on the weekend of 23 January in Accra and Cape Coast

The Finals will be hosted by the Greater Accra Rugby Association (GARA) in Accra on 2 March 2019.

According to Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, the Club Championship is a very important part of the overall development framework for Rugby in Ghana.

“Unfortunately not every Rugby player can represent the country at a national level, but Rugby is played and loved by millions globally because of the passion for the sport and the enormous personal values that comes with it. The Club Championship and Club structure is where it all happens,” Mensah says.

Mensah also announced that a new milestone has been reached whereby the Union has been given permission by the St. Thomas Aquinas SHS to play the Accra leg of the Pool A matches on the school’s pitch.

“Youth development and the integration of Rugby into the school’s structure is where the future is. Playing the 2019 GRCC at the St. Thomas Aquinas SHS grounds will hopefully be a turning point where we can introduce the values of integrity, passion, teamwork, discipline and respect to as many people in Ghana as possible,” Mensah said.

The annual Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) features ten teams, five from Accra and five from the Central and Western Regions

In 2017 and 2018 Conquerors RFC won the coveted Championship and it is expected that other teams will give everything to unseat them from the crown.

According to Mr Rob Oram of Accra Rugby Club (ARC) they did well last season and want to try and go one step further this year. “We recognize the challenge of the reigning champions will be as tough as ever. We’ve been working very hard during the offseason and hope that work will pay off in the new season,” Oram said.

Mr Steve Noi, Ghana Rugby Board Member and Tournament Commissioner, says that the standard of Rugby has improved dramatically in Ghana since he joined the Union in 2014.

“We look forward to the 2019 GRCC and believe that we will see great skills on display, but most importantly that the matches will provide the fans and supporters with an afternoon of enjoyment and fun over the seven weeks of the Championship,” Noi said.

The GRCC will also help the National Coach, Mr Lovemore “Dallars” Kuzorera, to identify new talent for both the national senior and junior teams.

According to Mr Kuzorera, it is critical that Clubs work with the national development structures to ensure that the best talent is spotted and selected for higher performance development in order to make Ghana become a force to be reckoned with in Continental tournaments.

According to Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, the Club Championship is a very important part of the overall development framework for Rugby in Ghana

He also emphasised the necessity for players to prepare well for the GRCC and to give their best during the Championship as that will be the best chance to get noticed and considered to become a Ghana Eagle.

“Only players who represented their Clubs during the annual GRCC will be considered to take part in international tournaments hosted by Rugby Africa,” Kuzorera said.

Ghana Rugby has a busy international schedule ahead of it with participation scheduled for the Rugby Africa Tournaments that include the Silver Cup in June and November, the Men’s Sevens Cup in October and the Women’s Sevens Tournament. In addition, Ghana Rugby has been invited to take part in the U20 Bathes Cup.

The Men’s Sevens Tournament in October will also serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics Games.

Youth Rugby Making Waves in Zambia

“The advances of Zambian Youth Rugby has been unprecedented, the results recorded have never before been seen in the country and we are glad to be part of this development” this quote is attributed to DieHardRugby Academy Founder Tom Chaloba while speaking during an interview at a local radio station in Zambia.

Mr Chaloba, who is a former Zambia International 7s & 15s Rugby Captain has observed that the growth of the game in Zambia has been rapid in the last 3 to 4 years due to the interest from Schools, Colleges, Universities and Communities across the country.

Earlier, The Academy gave out rugby balls and whistles to Teachers at Jack and Jill School in Kabwe to be used by the kids in their training sessions. During the handover of kit, Mr Chaloba commended management and staff for their overwhelming reception to Coaches whenever called upon. “Your institution has been exemplary in our efforts to expand and increase the participation of young girls and boys in our lovely game and we are glad with this partnership, it is our sincere hope that most schools will take a leaf from you and open their doors to us too”.

Youth Rugby making waves in Zambia

He also commended Mevis Pwemu for her passion, zeal and dedication in ensuring success at the learning institution. Ms Pwemu who is one of the Volunteer Coaches from DieHardRugby is amongst the other 7 who have been attached to various schools across town to ensure all learning institutions have equal access to qualified supervision. Chaloba named the other coaches as Ms Gillian Mwape & Teacher Miriam Musonda attached to Children of Promise Orphanage Centre, Mr Gassam Chibumbu & Teacher Elasmus Hamayuwa attached to Sables Orphanage Centre, Ms Sithembile Kasawala attached to Mildah Christian Academy, Mr Steven Lwando & Teacher Jo Chiyuka at Shitima School, Mr John Kapanda & Teacher Chibesa Chisala at Mine Secondary School and Ms Linah Precious Mubiana from J &J Sch among others.

Nigeria Rugby Football Federation Boss Receives City Merit Award

The President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation, Kelechukwu Mbagwu, on Friday in Lagos received the certificate of honour as the ‘Man of the Year’ by the organizers of the prestigious City Merit Awards.

The awards packaged and organized by Bulfazi Media Services, publishers of City Chronicle and Sports Chronicle magazines and in conjunction with the Coalition of Young Editors of Nigeria, is in the 5th edition.

According to the national coordinator of the City Merit Awards, Akeem Busari, who led other members of the awards committee that included veteran broadcaster Bayo Laoye and Taiwo Shonibare.

” It is a recognition for the immense and selfless contributions of distinguished Nigerians in different walks of life to the cultural and socio-economic development of the Nigerian society.”

Kelechukwu Mbagwu President NRFF

Speaking on the occasion of the ceremony held in his Ikoyi office, Mbagwu, who is also the managing director of CMB Building and Maintainance company, a major sponsor of rugby in Nigeria, expressed his gratitude on the recognition given him and promised that it would only spur him into doing better and greater things for the benefit of the society and humanity in general.

And in the recent past, it had recognized distinguished Nigerians in different walks of life including Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, Alhaji Gafar Liameed, Prince Efemena Elutabe, Don Irikefe Okirikpo, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and several others.

2018 Sandie Beach Rugby Tournament Holds This Weekend In Lagos

The organisers of the Sandie Beach Rugby tournament have announced that all is set for another action packed and fun filled edition of the eagerly awaited sports event which holds on the 1st and 2nd of December,2018, at the Takwa Bay Beach, Lagos.

The Beach version of the game of Rugby, seems to be catching the attention of the Nigerian populace as the awareness of the game is on the rise.

The two-day event would see schools such as Toybat School, Ojoku School and previous champions Falomo , trying to dethrone current champions, Takwa Bay.

In addition league teams like the Nigerian Police RFC, current champions of the South West region of the NRFF league- Cowrie RFC, Racing RFC and others would jostle for the coveted Sandie Beach Rugby Trophy 2018.

CEO Turbocrest Sport, organisers of the event, Olatunbosun Ayo Johnson, who has dedicated his time and love for the game, said the tournament has been an uphill task since inception.

“With the increasing numbers of players from 2012 to 2017 at an average of +282% and also as the second African country after South Africa where rugby fans penetrated, we hope to increase these tallies by involving and engaging fans and players through beach rugby.

“The tournament since inception has been an uphill task, but we are making progress towards making it an international event and also becoming a well-known event at the Takwa Bay Beach,” he said.

According to him, “the event is meant to bring fun in the sun for everyone, there will be side attractions such as musical appearances by extreme music new signing Dapo, Mani lapuush, Dylite and many more. Comedy by Callibird and guest appearance by Sitcom star Samuel Ajibola of The Johnsons aka Spiff and friends.

“I would also want to appreciate our sponsors ranging from Owusport, Shoprite, Nigerian Breweries, Aristo Mix multi media, and Visual Craft Studios for their support all through the years.

“With the full support of the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), lovers and spectators should be expecting Rugby as it best with lots of excitement,” Johnson said.

Newly Elected Rugby Rwanda President To Focus On Talent Development

Rwanda Rugby Federation, RRF, The new executive committee of the Rwanda Rugby Federation chaired by newly elected President Tharcisse Kamanda has confirmed that his four-year tenure in office will focus on further development of the sport through the grassroots.

Kamanda was elected unopposed as the President of Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) on Sunday in Remera, Kigali City. The former Secretary-General replaced Alexis Araire who showed no interest to return for the second term.

Newly elected Rugby Rwanda President

He was elected in office alongside Vice President Gakirage Phillip, Secretary General Uwitonze Felix, Treasurer Ihirwe Delphine and the pair of auditors composed of Hakizimana Laurien and Mudaheranwa Claude.

Speaking to the local media, Kamanda said, “We major focus and resources will be focused on uplifting the sport from the grassroots level. For Rwandan rugby to reach its potential, we need to put in concrete strategies that will see the sport being played at a young age in primary and secondary schools.”

“We want to ensure that we have a strong foundation in schools to ensure that we have also regular schools competition because it’s through such competitions that we will a wide pool of players ready to be selected onto our national youth teams,” he added.

He further added that more focus will also be put into capacity building in terms of administration from the club to the federation leadership.

Rwanda Rugby Federation President Tharcisse Kamanda

Women rugby development is also one of the main areas the new committee will look to improve such that the country can have as many women rugby players as possible.

Kamanda also noted that they will approach as many stakeholders as possible in search for sponsors such that the country can have a competitive national rugby league which is planned to start in January 2019 as well having a rugby pitch that can host more international competitions in the future. This will drive rugby to the glory that enthusiasts have sought for a long time.

Triple Win For African Rugby on The Global Stage As Nigeria Rugby Is Welcomed Back By World Rugby In Dublin

World Rugby elects Mr Alexander from South Africa on its executive committee, adopts Burkina Faso as a new associate member and welcomes back Nigeria as a full member

SA Rugby president Mr. Mark Alexander was elected to the World Rugby’s Executive Council in elections held in Dublin on Wednesday.

“It is a huge honour to be named on the executive body among a number of highly respected administrators in the game,” said Mr. Alexander from Dublin, where the World Rugby Council held their second sitting of the year.

Mark Alexander

“South Africa has had a strong representation on the executive over time, and I am proud and humbled to follow in that tradition. These are exciting times for rugby with a number of opportunities – as well as challenges – and I am delighted to be part of this group that will be determined to continue the growth and interest in the game around the world.”

World Rugby has welcomed Burkina Faso as associate members after they submitted a successful application. To become an associate member of the international federation, a rugby union must first be a full member of its regional association, in this case Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com). Then it must meet a certain number of criteria ranging from governance to administration and from development programs to domestic and regional competitions.

Rolande Boro, President of Burkina Faso Rugby Union

Mrs Rolande Boro, President of Burkina Faso Rugby Union is naturally delighted by the news: “It is a major achievement for Burkina Faso Rugby, we have worked very hard to grow the Game here and it is starting to show on the field. Our U18 boys came third in the Africa Youth Games in July in Algiers, and our senior sevens team finished third of the African Regional Sevens tournament in September in Abidjan. We might be a small country in the world of rugby but we have clear ambitions and a strong focus to reach them. Our next objective is obviously to be admitted as full member of World Rugby in two years time.”

Indeed, only unions in full membership of World Rugby can apply for much needed funding and participate in Rugby World Cup Qualifiers.

Kelechukwu Mbagwu President NRFF

Last but not least, Nigeria Rugby Football Federation’s suspension was lifted by World Rugby. The union had been reinstated earlier in the year by Rugby Africa once the regional association had been satisfied by the newly adopted governance process and constitution in Nigeria. Following the announcement, NRFF’s President Kelechukwu Mbagwu had this to say: “We are extremely happy and grateful to be back within the rugby family, I am particularly fulfilled that our hard work and preparations were not in vain. A big thank you to Rugby Afrique for their support and belief in us.”

Rugby Africa’s President and World Rugby Council member, Abdelaziz Bougja, was present in Dublin and instrumental in all three decisions made in connection with Africa. He reports: “It was indeed a big day for Africa on the international stage and I am really happy with the outcomes. We are strengthening our presence in the global rugby family and no one can deny that Africa is making great strides. I wish to congratulate Mr Alexander for his election at World Rugby’s Executive committee; I have no doubt that he will be making a major contribution towards African rugby in his new role. I wish all the best to Burkina Faso and Nigeria Rugby Football Federation; they are excellent examples of what can be achieved when the leadership is right and set to work to grow the Game from grassroot levels all the way to national teams. I am really proud of their success and the positive image they are conveying of rugby in their respective countries.”

He further adds : “I look forward to welcoming all our member unions in Marrakech for the African Rugby Summit from February 27th to March 3rd 2019. It will be a fantastic celebration of African Rugby concluded by our 13thGeneral Assembly.”