In an interview between local media and Technical Director of the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), AbuBakar Yaro hinted plans to revive the Nigerian Women’s Sevens team, with a possibility in participating in the Africa Women’s Sevens Cup after a 10 year absence.
Following the announcement by the NRFF for the 2020 calendar for international and local events, AbuBakar Yaro said regarding the Black Stallion Mens Sevens participation in the Africa Cup sevens, “as you know, we will not play in the Africa Cup 15s this year having lost the pre-qualifying match in Madagascar last year.”
🇳🇬🏉The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation has announced its schedule of international and local events 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ 👉https://t.co/UlbkLwalvt
— Rugby Afrique (@RugbyAfrique) February 9, 2020
Abubakar further comments about the 2017 ban, “If we didn’t get the ban in 2017, we would have easily avoided Madagascar because we fell behind to the lower regional league and had to play our way back up in Niger Republic and Ivory Coast in 2017. We then emerged the last ranked team after readmission into the 15s World Cup pre-qualifiers and Africa sevens in 2019. It was an avoidable pairing; however, we have to work towards ensuring we don’t find ourselves in such situation ever again.”
Abubakar then goes on to talk about bring back the Womens Sevens, “We are also looking at our Women’s Sevens competing on the continent this year after another ten year absence. Recall our Women’s Sevens team last participated in the year 2009 in Ghana where they finished runners up to Tunisia. They were sponsored by Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu who was Chairman of Friend’s of Rugby at the time and now that he is President, he is working hard to ensure our Women’s team feature on the Continent again. We have identified a number of them playing in Canada and the USA. They converged and participated at the Las Vegas sevenss International Open Tournament in March, 2019 where they reached the Cup quarter finals. We look forward to having them come home and mix with our home based girls to represent Nigeria this year.”
President of the NRFF, Mr Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu also mentioned about the Women’s Sevens stating, “I can assure you that plans are also in place to have Women’s Rugby Sevens League and the Men’s Sevens Circuit in the country.”