We are in transformation year for rugby, says Mbagwu
• South West Rugby League kicks off April 21
Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) President, Kelechukwu Mbagwu has declared that this year would witness a remarkable transformation in the country’s rugby.
Mbagwu told The Guardian at the weekend that the game, which has forced on grassroots players since he took charge of the federation, would witness more support from corporate entities, who have indicated interest to take the game to global standard.
He declared that his target is to introduce professionalism and a well-organised network system to administer it throughout the federation, adding that the rugby league would be played in more states this year as a way of further encouraging more youths to embrace the game.
Mbagwu disclosed that preparations were in top gear to assemble a formidable national team that would take Africa and the rest of the world by storm, adding that arrangements were in progress to invite well established instructors from England and South Africa to groom Nigerian players on the modern tenets of the game.
He also said that that this year would witness a big lift for female rugby, which, he regretted, was neglected by past administrations.
The president said the success of the Independence Sevens, the National Rugby League and the Sadie Beach Soccer Championship last year, revealed that the game of rugby was getting more popular in Nigeria.
“Rugby has been fast gaining ground in the country since my board took charge of the sports. Plans are on for the league to start in April with more clubs joining this year.
“There would also be a seven-a-side rugby league during the Easter break, which would be coordinated by an international instructor.
“The current board is working round the clock to run a system where every stakeholder in the game is free to contribute his own quota to develop the sport. We are not running a one-man show in the present board. With the arrangement on ground, players would now heave a sigh of relief because it would not be an all comers affair in owning a rugby club. Club owners would be made to get insurance for players before floating their clubs,” he said.
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