Ogar leads Black Stallions to Johannesburg next week
The 19-man delegation of the national rugby team, Black Stallions, will depart for Johannesburg, venue of the Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers, next week, the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) Technical Committee has revealed.
According to the NRFF, the team will leave Lagos on November 8 to participate in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers billed to hold on November 14 and 15 in South Africa.
Among the top players listed for the qualifiers are Nigerian rugby’s golden boy, Christian Ogar of Cowrie RFC, who will lead the squad also comprising Nuhu Ibrahim Samaila (Barewa RFC) and Alfred Oche (Jos RFC) to South Africa.
Others in the squad are Onoru Oyiza Jatto (Cowrie RFC), Samuel Ekpo (Cowrie RFC), Hafis Ayinla (Cowrie RFC) and team captain, Azeez Ladipo (Cowrie RFC).
There are also players based abroad in the team, whom the NRFF are banking on to bring their experience to bear on NIgeria’s quest to qualify for the Olympics.
Three of the players will come from the United Kingdom, while two are based in the United States and South Africa.
According to the NRFF’s Technical Director, Fasimoye Olatunji, the foreign-based stars were discovered at the President Cup invitational tournament held recently in Lagos.
He also disclosed that the federation is discussing with more foreign-based players to play for Nigeria. These include two U.S-based brothers, Onyinye Onwukanjo (Davenport University Rugby, USA) and Ike Onwukanjo (USA Northeast Olympic Academy).
Other foreign-based players expected to give their consent to play for the country are Omotohunola Odulaja (Old Blues RFC, UK), Ayomide Joseph Mogaji (Doking RFC UK), Danjuma Mshelia (Richmond RFC, UK) and Thankgod Okafor (Sharks RFC South Africa).
Fasinoye disclosed that the team’s Technical Adviser, Bandele Coker and Team Doctor, Bukola Bojuwoye will be part of the 19-man delegation to South Africa.
The delegation, he said, will be led by President of the federation, Edward Pam Fom, adding that the head coach, Fabian Juries, and all invited foreign players will join the domestic players in Johannesburg on November 9 for a five-day training camp ahead of the qualifiers.
Nigeria is drawn alongside Zimbabwe, Uganda and Zambia in group B.