NAIROBI, October 7 – Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) chairman Richard Omwela is optimistic that the national sevens circuit which begins this weekend will help the national selectors choose a group players for the entire duration of the International Rugby Board (IRB) series.,
Omwela said Tuesday that Kenya needed players who will be available to play for the whole 2008/2009 season despite the challenges that come with being an amateur country in the modern era.
“What were are this time around is to make sure that we have a pool of 20 players who will be able to play the entire IRB circuit out of whom at any given time we can pick 12 at any given to play,” said Omwela.
The IRB series starts in November with the Dubai Sevens where the national side, who finished seventh last season, has been grouped with South Africa, Scotland and hosts Arabian Gulf.
Omwela was speaking after receiving a Sh3 million sponsorship package from Western Union for the national sevens circuit.
Western Union representative Willy Bett said that the company was delighted to be venturing into rugby for the first time.
“We are committed to the promotion of sports in the region and are honoured to be the sponsors of the sevens series in Kenya,” said Bett.
“The series has become immensely popular not only to the rugby fraternity but as a fixture in Kenya’s social and entertainment calendar,” he added.
Omwela expressed his gratitude to Western Union for their sponsorship adding that he hoped it would develop into a prolonged partnership.
He also said that each of the hosting clubs will receive Sh250,000 as well as assistance from the KRFU secretariat so as to harmonise organizational standards throughout the tournament.
The circuit’s overall winner will also receive a cash prize of Sh200,000.
Meanwhile, defending circuit champions Mwamba have been drawn in Pool A of this weekend’s Nakuru Prinsloo sevens alongside United States International University (USIU), Moi University and Kenya Methodist University.
Impala are in Pool B with Daystar, Nazarene and Buffaloes while hosts Nakuru have been grouped with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kabarak University and Eldoret Exiles.
Prinsloo Sevens draw
Pool A: Mwamba, USIU, Moi University, Kenya Methodist University
Pool B: Impala, Daystar, Nazarene, R. Buffaloes
Pool C: Nakuru, JKUAT, Kabarak, Eldoret Exiles
Pool D: KCB, Mean Machine, KCA, Maseno
Pool E: Blakblad, Nondies, Egerton, Catholic University
Pool F: Strathmore, Quins, Uganda, Mt. Kenya University