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I will develop Nigerian rugby with domestic players, says Weir  

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Black Stallions visit Beach 
The Nigerian national team rugby coach, Bronson Weir has disclosed that his vision is to use the domestic players to develop the country’s rugby.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Weir said transforming Nigerian rugby players to world champions requires total concentration on the domestic players, adding that he decided top add seven new players in his current team to give more home-based players the necessary international exposure.

The South Africa-born tactician stressed that as the Nigerian rugby coach, he would not give any player automatic shirt in the squad.On the West African championship, Weir said the Black Stallions were ready to beat Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to claim the title, describing Nigeria’s first game against Cote d’Ivoire as potentially the toughest in the series due to the rivalry between the two teams.

“When I took charge of the Nigerian rugby team after the NRFF suspension was lifted, most of the players were selected for me because I was just coming into the country. I was saddled with the responsibility of immediately preparing the team for the game against Niger Republic and the Cote d’Ivoire championship last year.“With the little time I spent to train the players, we where able to excel in the games. From that point, I believed Nigeria had the potential in rugby.

“I decided to go all out to search for Nigeria’s foreign-based players to beef up the team,” he said  According to Weir, “Out of the large number of quality rugby players I saw abroad, I decided to invite two foreign-based players, one from Italy and the other from South Africa.

“I declined to invite many foreign-based players because I wanted to use more domestic players to develop the Nigerian league. “Since I cannot stay in the county most of the time to monitor the league due to funding issues, I decided to impact my knowledge on the domestic players in the national team so that they will share their experiences they received from me and the overseas-based players with their counterparts in their various clubs.”

Weir confessed that Nigerian players lacked basic skills, adding, “I am ready to connect Nigerian coaches to the best academies for refresher courses in South Africa.“With due respect to them, I am not bringing anybody down, but it would be an exercise in futility when after training the domestic players in the national team, they don’t get continuous quality training to improve their skills in their clubs.”

Weir also assured that the Black Stallions would give their best to beat Cote d’Ivoire in the team’s opening game tomorrow, adding that the team is relaxed and not under pressure to beat Cote d’Ivoire.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian team visited Oasis Beach in Cape Coast yesterday evening to condition their mind and body ahead of today’s early morning training session.The Black Stallions will have their first feel of the Elmina Stadium this morning.


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