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Rugby Africa set to lift ban on Nigeria, says Are 

By Alex Monye
29 October 2021   |   3:55 am
The newly-elected president of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), Ademola Are, yesterday, revealed that the country’s suspension by Africa Rugby would soon be lifted, adding that the NRFF is still in talks with key stakeholders in Africa to reinstate...

Nigeria Stallions players at the 2021 Kenya Safari Rugby sevens Championship<br />PHOTO: Alex Monye

• Stallions 7s arrive Kenya for 2021 Kenya Safari tourney
The newly-elected president of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), Ademola Are, yesterday, revealed that the country’s suspension by Africa Rugby would soon be lifted, adding that the NRFF is still in talks with key stakeholders in Africa to reinstate the nation to the international circle.

Are told The Guardian from Kenya, where Nigeria’s senior national team, the Stallions, are preparing to participate in this weekend’s Rugby Invitational Tournament, that the country decided to honour the event to show Rugby Africa that Nigeria is united and ready to come back to the African body any time the permission is granted.

“When I took charge of Rugby in Nigeria, I immediately used my office to bring everybody together and try to make us remain as one Rugby family.

“Part of my commitment is to return Nigeria to the continental body. We reached out to Africa Rugby and told them everything has been settled in Nigeria and there is  no government interference and that a new board has been elected through due process.

“They told us to wait till November when Nigeria’s issue would be discussed in the world Rugby Congress. With their interest in Nigeria, Rugby Africa will soon reinstate the country.”

He disclosed that the NRFF decided  to participate in this annual Kenya international invitational tourney to show Rugby Africa that Nigeria is ready and  set to battle in the international scene.

“Since the COVID -19 issue, Nigeria Rugby players have not played any game and this is a platform for them to show their skills to the world.

“It will be tough for the players, but it will also expose them to bigger teams and better exposure and experience,” he said.

According to Are, overseas-based players from England and South Africa are in the squad, adding that the sports ministry released the funds for the Nigerian team’s participation in the vent.
 
The Stallions are drawn in Pool A alongside Germany, Zimbabwe and top seed Kenya Shujaa, at the Kenya Safari Sevens Tournament.

Two time winners, Samurai, headline Pool B, which also comprises South Africa All Stars 7s Academy, Red Wailers and Chipu 7s, while Spain, defending champions, Kenya Morans, Uganda and KCB make up Pool C.

The two-day tourney, which begins tomorrow, will see the top two sides from each pool, as well as the best two third placed finishers, advancing  to the cup finals on Sunday.

In the Nigerian are David Oyekanmi, David Abomienam, Samuel Ekpo, Azeez Olanrewaju, Benedict Obianuju, Nuhu Ibrahim, Jeremiah Peter, Joseph Girigi, Alex Ukpe, Akpabio Samuel, Sadam Abubakar and Joshua Etim.

Coach Gbenga Adeniran is leading the team’s technical crew, while James Eakyns is team manager and Gerald .O is the physio.