President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation, (NRFF) Kelechukwu Mbagwu, said the federation would strive to build on the success recorded in 2018 after Nigeria returned to the Rugby Afrique to play in international competitions.
Speaking in Abuja after the federation’s first meeting of the year, Mbagwu noted that some of the focus of the federation in 2019 were to qualify for the next Olympic Games and play more rugby tournaments on the local scene.
He said that already, the game had begun to thrive at the grassroots with several youth competitions being played across Nigeria.
He said, “The first meeting of the year offered the board members an opportunity to plan for the 2019 season. We had an energetic but highly successful 2018 season and we want to build on that foundation. In 2018, we played more rugby games in Nigeria than ever before. We rejoined the international community of rugby and advanced from the Bronze Cup to the Silver Cup within a little space of time. We are in line to play qualifiers for the male and female Olympic Games. We are setting up a grand finale for rugby in Nigeria.
“Our other objectives apart qualifying for the Olympics is to win the Silver Cup and have an even bigger domestic season. We hope to continue breaking more rugby records.
“We are hoping that we will host the Silver Cup this year. The African body of rugby is favorably considering us as the host of the tournament. If the opportunity comes to Nigeria, it will go a long way in lifting the popularity of the game. Members of the rugby board have been doing a fantastic job and I believe we are well prepared to do justice to whatever opportunity that comes our way.