Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) needs to focus more on developing the 7s version of the game instead of 15s in order to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the former than the latter, according to Scotland 7s team captain, Scott Wight.
Rugby was one of the local sports federations that benefited from expert training by the visiting delegation from Scotland under the initiative dubbed ‘Support a Second Team.’
This initiative was launched just before the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in the Scottish capital Glasgow, to link Commonwealth countries with local counties.
Rwanda was linked with the East Lothian County. Part of the goal is to help Rwanda qualify for future 7s tournament in the Commonwealth Games, starting with the 2022 Games that will be staged in Durban, South Africa.
According to the Rwanda Rugby Federation secretary general, Tharcisse Kamanda, the Scottish 7s captain Wight emphasized the potential in the 7s.
“We have had support from the Scottish delegation in terms of equipment and technical assistance. We have a guarantee that if we continue with the development programme for the youth players there’s more we can do in 7s than in 15s,” Kamanda told Times Sport.
Last month, local league side, Thousand Hills organized a Sevens Rugby Fest, and Kamanda promises more similar tournaments in a bid to promote the 7s version.
He noted that, “We are preparing for the Kigali Sharks 7s, and possibly the Muhanga 7s. With many sevens circuits, we can have many tournaments and also get to target young players for long-term development.”
Challenges in organizing the National Rugby League have also persisted with players suggesting the 15s league to be abandoned for 7s circuits.
However, Kamanda suggests that the two can run concurrently but with the greater focus on 7s.
“For the national team (Silverbacks), we normally play two games in a year and in one tournament (Africa Rugby Division 2D Cup) but with 7s we can play in more tournaments,” Kamanda explained.