NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12 – Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) services manager Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno has announced next season’s Kenya Cup has been expanded to 14 teams instead of the traditional 12 with Eldoret and Mombasa sides added to the roster.
The former national 15s head coach was speaking on Thursday at Nanyuki Sports Club while launching the Mt Kenya 10s event where he applauded the invention of the 10-aside game.
He noted it would be the bridge between the seven and the 15-aside formats of the sport that would play a role in enhancing the development of latter in the country in its bid to emulate the international success of the shorter version.
“We have got newcomers in Eldoret and Mombasa and that means we are going to have calibre games in those region and to me, that’s a great plus for the union,” Otieno said of the expanded domestic 15-aside top club competition.
“The 10s at the time it has come it’s very important and its also an opportunity to spread rugby in Nanyuki since there is potential here from what we have heard from the schools,” he added.
Nanyuki Sports Club was promoted to the nationwide league and it’s the only team that plays in rugby in the wider Mount Kenya region.
Nakuru RFC, commonly known as the ‘Wanyore’ stunned established sides based in the capital Nairobi to lift the 2013 Kenya Cup.
The service manager further said that the national Sevens Rugby team will use next weekend’s Safaricom Safari Sevens as a preparation towards the 2013/14 HSBC World Series opener at Gold Coast.
Kenya has been pooled in group A alongside defending series champions New Zealand, USA and Tonga in the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia that will run in the weekend of October 10 to 12.
“It’s a tough draw but from what I have seen of the series and now that every body is gearing for Olympics in 2016, every pool is tough and in any case I always believe if you start with tough teams it will become easier in the knock out stage, so they are in a tough group but I believe the boys are up for the task and they will come through,” Otieno stated on the draw.
– By Alex Isaboke in Nanyuki