By Modupe Gbadeyanka
South African Bronson Weir has been announced as the head coach of the Nigerian senior Men’s Rugby National Team fondy caled the Black Stallions.
Mr Weir’s appointment was announced on Thursday at a world press conference chaired by the rugby body’s president, Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu, following the re-admittance of Nigeria into the international scene by Rugby Africa.
The new coach’s first assignment will be to lead the Black Stallions to the international friendly against Niger Republic in Niamey on August 11, 2018. The friendly game is seen by many as symbolic because it will be the first activity of the federation on the international scene after their election and inauguration in 2017.
Mr Mbagwu also announced that Nigeria will be participating at the 2018 Africa Rugby Regional Sevens in Ivory Coast between September 15 and 16 during the press conference to mark the board’s one year in office.
Meanwhile, the federation has opened its Rugby House at 18, Ayinde Giwa street, Surulere, Lagos for the smooth daily operations of rugby affairs in Nigeria.
“To this end, Mike Archer has been appointed as the General Manager of the NRFF. He is going to take over the day to day running of rugby and seasoned administrators will work under him,” Mr Mbagwu told newsmen.
The president also announce the appointment of Martin Crawfor as the Elite Rugby Director and assured that the recent move was geared towards putting the end to an era where not much was achieved.
Going forward, activities of the federation and its players will be documented.
“The latest landmark is part of our plan for a comprehensive data base of rugby players in the country and embark on our Get Into Rugby program fully. This will put an end to an era of no records which has continued to kill the game in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Weir worked from 2008 to 2011 with the South African Students Sevens team in different capacities. He started as assistant coach and manager of the team in 2008. In 2010, he was appointed as head coach for the SA Students team for 2010 and 2011. As coach, Mr Weir won the Casablanca Sevens competition in 2010 and 2011. During the SA Students team’s participation in the Central Sevens competition in France, the team won in 2010 and finished second in 2011.
As coach, Mr Weir worked with players such as Okkie Kruger, Justin Geduld, Cheslin Kolbe and Jamba Ulengo, who are now playing on the HSBC Sevens World Series and have played either Varsity Cup, Vodacom Cup and Super Rugby.
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