Rwanda hopeful on IRB membership

The Confederation of Africa Rugby development manager Jean Luc Barthez is expected to visit Rwanda on May 7 for a two day evaluation exercise on the status of rugby before Rwanda can either be granted or denied membership to the International Rugby Board (IRB).
Rwanda’s Silvervacks (R) in action during the Hong Kong 10s. Rwanda hopes to become an associate member of the IRB (File photo)
Rwanda’s Silvervacks (R) in action during the Hong Kong 10s. Rwanda hopes to become an associate member of the IRB (File photo)

The Confederation of Africa Rugby development manager Jean Luc Barthez is expected to visit Rwanda on May 7 for a two day evaluation exercise on the status of rugby before Rwanda can either be granted or denied membership to the International Rugby Board (IRB).

Rwanda has been an affiliate member of IRB for the last three years but after recent impressive performances by the national team in regional tournaments, and yet another excellent display in the Kwoloo development trophy in Hong Kong last month, the national rugby federation’s quest to become an associate member of the international body could be realized after Barthez’s evaluation.

The first vice president of the national rugby federation Gerald Nsenga told Times Sport that the local sport stands to benefit a lot should Rwanda be granted associate membership.

“We definitely meet all the criteria that warrant being an associate member of the International Rugby Board, and the benefits of being a member are enormous.

“We shall get high level coaching for the team, a permanent rugby pitch and facilitation for the national team ahead of continental tournaments,” Nsenga said
Meanwhile, Nsenga also confirmed that the national league will start on May 22.

Ten teams are expected to take part and they include reigning champions Buffaloes, Lion de Fer, UNR Grizzlies, Sharks, Simba, Puma, Gorillas, ISAE, Kaduha tigers and Marines.

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