BY AKEEM BUSARI.
Nigeria Rugby Football Federation has disclosed plans to make a grand return to the sport after its ban was lifted by Rugby Afrique and World Rugby.
Speaking at a press conference held at the corporate headquarters of CMB Building and Maintenance Company in Lagos, the President of NRFF, Kelechukwu Mbagwu gleefully highlighted the impressive achievements of the body in the past one year.
According to him, the NRFF board was able to draft a constitution that was equally ratified by Rugby Afrique and paving way for the body to have its suspension lifted.
“Amongst several landmark achievements of this board in the past one year was the ratification of our constitution by Rugby Afrique and the world body. And this expressly made the suspension placed on NRFF to be lifted.
“We have also acquired a befitting secretariat for NRFF in Lagos, as well as appointing a top rated South African coach, Bronson Weir to handle the Black Stallions in the forthcoming games, beginning with the clash against Niger Republic in Niamey, next week Saturday,” Mbagwu revealed.
“Rugby Afrique was magnanimous in granting us a waiver of one year that would have made it impossible for us to play continental rugby.
“Therefore, we are playing against Niger Republic, who are the Super 16 champions in a Rugby Afrique sanctioned game, to test our readiness for the big stages,” he added.
Meanwhile, preparations for the Niger clash have begun in earnest with the release of a 30- man list that include Italy based prop for Rugby Torino in the Serial A, Dina Otoro Godwin.
Other games lined up for the Black Stallions include another friendly against Ghana, as well as, the Rugby Africa 7s tournament slated for Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire later in the year. Winners of the Abidjan tournament are expected to qualify for the main qualifiers for the Olympic Games.