Kenya pulls out of CAR tournament


NAIROBI, Kenya, August 13- The Kenya 15s team will not take part in the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) tournament whose date and venue is yet to be announced.Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Richard Omwela said on Friday that raising a side to fly out for the tournament will throw the local sevens calendar into a spin and that its not line with the fifteens programme the union had set out for the year.

“If its going to happen away from Nairobi, we regret that we are not going to participate in it because the whole idea was to start from the Bamburi Super Series, Victoria and Elgon Cup and then CAR in that succession so that our fifteens season can run in an organized manner,” said Omwela.

Kenya had been grouped in Pool B of the competition alongside Namibia, East African neighbors Uganda and Cameroon.

Omwela revealed that Kenya had been approached to host the tournament but decided against it because the budget they had allocated by the continental body was not adequate.

“We told CAR and IRB that we are unable to do that because the money they had given us could not cater for four squads of 26 players each,” said Omwela.

“However logic demands that the competition should be held in Kenya because it is the most cost effective way. Uganda and Cameroon have to pass through Nairobi top get to Namibia. If we do manage to become hosts we (Kenya) can assemble a team,” he added.

Omwela was optimistic that the development of the 15s team will start gathering pace after receiving invitations from South African Provinces to come and face the national team.

“After watching us in the Victoria Cup, Mpumalanga have asked for a return match against the national team. There has also been an offer from Western Province who want to send an invitational side here,” said Omwela.

The chairman was speaking after receiving a Sh4 million sponsorship package from money transfer provider Western Union towards the national sevens Circuit that starts August 21 with the Christie Sevens at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds.

The event will also be staged in Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.