Rugby Rugby

Super Series cancelled after Bamburi exit

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KIFARU-BRSS

NAIROBI, May 26- The Bamburi Rugby Super Series (BRSS) will not be held this year after the cement manufacturing firm severed their links with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) following claims of financial impropriety at the 2014 edition.

Union boss, Richard Omwela, confirmed Tuesday morning that Bamburi had declined to commit to the 2015 edition adding that a ‘Plan B’ was in progress to organise it next year.

It is another telling blow to the sport after local integrated communication services giants; Safaricom, severed their partnership with the annual international invitation flagship, Safari 7s and domestic Sevens Series in April citing lack of ‘accountability and transparency’ at the Union.

“The truth of the matter is that Bamburi didn’t confirm the financing of this year’s Super Series. I will be lying to say we will have it. We are going to the 15s programme on the basis we will not have it.

“It’s normally a build up to the international matches but we will let it pass and then plan for next year,” Omwela stated.

He alluded concerns over some of the Union board members who were accused of embezzling funds, inflating expenses and skewed service contracts at last years events had dissuaded the sponsors.

“I think Bamburi were watching to see developments at the Board following the withdrawal of Safaricom so I suspect that’s the reason why they have not come on board.

“But we are having discussions to see if they will commit in the coming years, if they don’t, then we know they are not on and we start looking for another sponsor,” Omwela added.

The misappropriation of funds at the 2014 BRSS and Safaricom 7s, is believed to have prompted the suspension of vice-chairman, Phillip Jalang’o who was adversely mentioned in the report submitted by the Union’s auditors PKF as well as in Simpon Osiemo’s probe committee report formed to probe the allegations.

Last year the Series featured six franchises, Ndovu, Chui, Kifaru and Papa all from Kenya while Victoria and Ruwenzori represented Uganda.

UAP Kifaru became the first university franchise to lift the BRSS title after beating pre match favourites Nguvu Papa 15-0 in last year’s final.

The fate of this year’s Safari Sevens is still uncertain after Omwela said they are yet to secure a sponsor.

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