By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian national Rugby team will play in the 2020 Olympic qualifying matches, Rugby Africa has confirmed.
The qualifiers will take place from November 9 – 10, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa and will allow one of the participating teams to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
The participating teams are: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Ghana, Botswana, Mauritius, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
Nigeria was confirmed for the November competition as a result of her superb performance at the Africa North regional 7s tournament in Cote d’Ivoire and a massive 59 – 13 test match win against Niger Republic in Niamey last year.
South Africa is presently competing in the HSBC World Sevens Series and may not participate at the Africa Sevens if they amass enough points and qualify for the Olympics automatically. Burkina Faso are waiting on the side lines to fill in the gap should South Africa excel at the HSBC.
Acting Technical Director of the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), Mr Dele Coker, who doubles as the Teams Manager, expressed his excitement for this development.
‘’We are happy for the chance to participate in the Olympics qualifiers: Africa Men’s Sevens later this year. We will ensure our best players are available, ensure proper preparations and aim to go far at the tournament,” Mr Coker said.
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