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Training course for coaches heralds NRFF’s 2020 programme 

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The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) will open its activities this year with a refresher course for rugby coaches to teach them the modern rudiments of the sport.NRFF’s technical director, Abubakar Yaro said the course would also include administrators and intending rugby coaches.

Yaro said the board would work hard to raise the standard of rugby league across the zones of the country this year, adding, “The year’s activities will kick off with training course for our coaches, referees and administrators followed by rugby teams participation at the National Sports Festival in Edo after a 10-year absence.

“We will take a break after the sports festival due to Ramadan fast. The President’s Cup between Police and Barewa RFC will usher in the 2020 League season after which Nigeria will host the West African Rugby Series in Lagos.”Yaro added that the Black Stallion Men’s Sevens will feature in the Africa Cup 7s later in the year, adding, “As you know, we will not play in the Africa Cup 15s this year having lost the pre-qualifying match in Madagascar last year.

“Nigeria could have avoided Madagascar, the highest ranked team in the preliminary rounds if we didn’t get the ban in 2017, we would have easily avoided Madagascar because we fell to the lower regional league and had to play our way back up in Niger Republic and Ivory Coast in 2017.

“We then emerged the last ranked team after readmission into the 15s World Cup pre-qualifiers and Africa 7s in 2019. It was an avoidable pairing; however, from this year the Black Stallions have to work towards ensuring they don’t find themselves in such situation ever again,”He also revealed that the NRFF was looking at taking the Women’s Sevens team to the continent this year after 10-year absence.

“Recall our Women’s Sevens team last participated in the year 2009 in Ghana where they finished runners up to Tunisia. They were sponsored by Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu, who was Chairman of Friends of Rugby at the time, and now that he is President, he is working hard to ensure our Women’s team feature on the continent again. “We have identified a number of them playing in Canada and the USA. They converged and participated at the Las Vegas 7s International Open Tournament in March, 2019 where they reached the quarter finals.

“We look forward to having them come home and mix with our home based girls to represent Nigeria this year at international championship,”  he declared.
NRFF President, Kelechukwu Mbagwu who reiterated the federation’s commitment to develop rugby in Nigeria, said, “We are very much looking forward to starting 2020 with some capacity building programmes and we will pay more attention to schools Rugby. 

“The President’s Cup between Police and Barewa is pending so it is imminent that we conclude it. The Board agreed to start a Cup competition alongside the League this year to give the players more playing time, as well as include a Sevens circuit and Women’s Sevens league towards September. “We enjoin corporate Nigeria, individuals and foundations to partner with us to grow Rugby in Nigeria.  Our doors are open to discuss,” he said.


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