NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has announced that 2018 international tests will be spread across the country in a move to develop the game in the regions.
The KRU board seeks to bring international 15-a-side rugby closer to the grassroots and increase the game’s popularity and visibility. The Union said that the move is consistent with the practice in major rugby playing nations like South Africa, New Zealand and Australia who rotate test matches across
KRU has earmarked Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Machakos and Kakamega as potential regional venues and has pledge to support the regions in the logistics of the matches as the requirements of test rugby are significantly higher than domestic competitions.
“Fifteen a side international rugby is growing rapidly with Nairobi hosting six test matches this year, all of which have been very well attended. The timing is right to extend this unique product across the country and grow the test match experience and culture across the country,” KRU Secretary Oduor Gangla said.
“A number of KRU affiliates have already expressed strong interest in hosting such matches and we look forward to engaging with them from September 2017 to actualize this plan.”
The KRU has also stated that it has started the process of meeting the local authorities and affiliates to discuss the venture of evaluating each venue under criteria such as playing facility, transport and accommodation to ensure infrastructure is achieved to host games of such magnitude.
“For this venture to be successful the support of our affiliates across the country is essential and this will deepen our working relationship. Part of the returns of these events will be earmarked towards legacy rugby development programs that will contribute to the growth and development of the game and support initiatives of the affiliates in the regions,” he added.
This undertaking will promote local businesses since KRU will look to introduce new commercial partners into the game especially regional companies and the county governments who have significant budgets for sporting activities.
The Board father reassured the public that the plan is consistent with the broad mandate of KRU to grow and develop the game of rugby union.
-By Kenya Rugby Union–