Silverbacks receive training boost from Penguin International RFC

National rugby team Silverbacks’ players pose for a group photo before starting training yesterday. Courtesy.

Renowned United Kingdom-based Penguin International Rugby Football Club are training Rwandan’s national men’s rugby team, the Silverbacks, to enhance the players’ knowledge and skills in ball handling and passing.

The week-long training started Sunday at APR training ground outside Amahoro Stadium and will be climaxing on Saturday.

Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, the Rwanda Rugby Federation chief administrator, John Livingstone Muhire, explained that the ongoing training is part of a long-term partnership with Penguin International RTF, the world’s premier touring club.

“Rwandan Rugby is very grateful for the support from Penguin,” he added, “previously we have held several coaching sessions with them and benefitted from kit donations over the years. This is a long-term friendship between the two organisations.”

Instructor Tony Penny, from Penguin, also said that working with Rwanda Rugby Federation is always a ‘refreshing experiencing’, adding that he previously trained development officers – who train youngsters before taking up on the national team.

“The objective of the training is to equip Rwandan rugby players with the latest tactics and skills in passing and ball handling. I am always happy to be back in Rwanda, the sport is on the rise and I am convinced it will continue to grow steadily,” Penny said in a separate interview.

Penguin CEO Craig Brown and ex Scotland coach Frank Hadden first visited Rwanda in 2010.The visit led to a meeting in 2011 between Silverbacks and the King Penguins at Kowloon 10s tournament in Hong Kong before both sides played a re-match at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, in 2014.

It is after their second meeting that the British rugby charity started to closely work with the local rugby governing body in funding and offering capacity building and training opportunities to players, administrators and coaches in the country.

Founded 47 years ago by the late Tony Mason and Alan Wright, Penguin Rugby RTC’s main objective is to foster the growth, goodwill, and camaraderie of the rugby community throughout the world, accompanied by a programme of coaching and refereeing seminars.

League playoffs continue this weekend

In the meantime, Kigali Sharks take on Puma Kamonyi at Utexrwa grounds on Saturday in the second semi-final clash of this year’s MindSky National Rugby league.

Last Saturday, Resilience Rugby Club became the first side to earn a finals berth after stunning defending champions Remera Buffaloes 24-15 at Rusizi stadium.

The final showdown is scheduled for later this month.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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