Nigeria to battle Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya, others for Rugby Sevens ticket
Rugby Africa has confirmed that Nigeria’s national team will participate in the African zone of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers slated to hold in South Africa on November 9 and 10.
Rugby Africa said Nigeria was given the chance to compete in the qualifiers due to its outstanding performance at the 2018 Africa North Regional Sevens tournament held in Cote d’Ivoire.
The massive 59 to 13 points win earned by the Black Stallions in the friendly match against Niger Republic in Niamey last year also helped the Nigerian side to get the nod to play in the 2020 qualifiers.
NRFF’s Acting Technical Director/Team Manager, Dele Coker said the federation was happy that Nigeria has been listed for the qualifiers.
“We are happy for the chance to participate in the Olympics qualifiers at the Africa Men’s Sevens later this year. We will ensure our best players are available because our target is to go far in the tournament. That will be made possible by the proper preparations we plan to embark on,” Coker said.
The Olympics qualifiers will give one of the participating teams ticket to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The other teams listed for the qualifiers are Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Ghana, Botswana, Mauritius and Côte d’Ivoire.
South Africa is currently competing in the HSBC World Sevens Series and may not participate at the Africa Sevens if they amass enough points and qualify for the Olympics automatically. Burkina Faso are waiting on the sidelines to fill in the gap should South Africa excel at the HSBC.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian team will battle Ghana in the Rugby President’s Cup on May 4 at the Lagos Polo ground.
Towards the game, Black Stallions Coach, Bronson Weir at the weekend released names of home-based players that will play the game.
The return leg of the tie will hold in Ghana on June 11.