NAIROBI, Kenya, December 20 – Inspectors from the International Rugby Board (IRB) will be in the country in March to start evaluation of Kenya’s ability to host one of the legs in HSBC Sevens World Series during the 2015/16 season.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Mwangi Muthee, said the inspectors will then return for the 2014 Safaricom 7s in September, which will be used as a test event to demonstrate the country that is bidding to host the top Sevens competition has required facilities.
“Key to the success of our bid is that we have all facilities and four other prescribed conditions in place at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani by September, when the IRB inspection team will attend our Safaricom 7s, treating it as the last dress rehearsal,” the KRU boss who hailed the proposed upgrading of Kasarani Sports Complex by Safaricom, said on Friday in a press statement.
“The decision whether the Safaricom Sevens will be in the World Series will be made shortly thereafter and then we see if we shall be on the 2015/2016 calendar,” he added.
For the first time, KRU staged the annual event at Kasarani last September and Muthee says the Union will be looking to complete the necessary requirements at the facility for Kenya to be included in the Series.
According to the chairman, they will improve on the stadium natural grass playing surface, putting up a warm-up pitch, up-to- scratch changing rooms for 16 nations both women and referees among others.
Muthee added the rugby fraternity was upbeat because proposed Government plans to build five world class stadiums in the country would soon become a reality.
“The Jubilee Government manifesto to build five state-of-the-art stadiums will be implemented. We express gratitude to the State, and especially the President, who have assured us that one of these projects will be a world class built rugby stadium in Nairobi as soon as possible.
“But we are making an early move and by the time this facility is up, we shall already be in the IRB Series.”
Mobile provider Safaricom, will refurbish the Kasarani Stadium after Sports Stadia Management Board awarded them a two year branding and naming rights worth Sh55m (USD 641,026.10).