Strathmore miss 2nd “Kings of Rugby” tourney

By francis marangu
Nov 03, 2015
  • Strathmore University will miss the second Kings of Rugby tournament.

Strathmore University, winners of the inaugural Kings of Rugby all-university rugby sevens tournament champions will miss the second to be held on November 14 at RFUEA ground.

The one-day tournament is a partnership between Kenya Universities Sports Association (KUSA) and EXP Agency, a leading experiential marketing company in Africa.

Strathmore alongside University of Nairobi and Catholic University never took part in the four legs of the qualification played from May to September. Meru University, South Eastern Kenya University and Moi University all from last year’s tourney will also miss out in 2015.

A total of 17 universities across the country took part with the top 12 in points ranking system making it to the national tournament. Six teams will be making their second appearance while six others will be on their debut.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) won two legs hosted in Nyeri and Taita Taveta while Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) won in Kakamega and Egerton University won the leg they hosted.

The teams have been pooled in three groups of four teams each. Pool A has Kenyatta University, Egerton, JKUAT and Africa Nazarene University (ANU).

Pool B includes United States International University-Africa (USIU-A), Dedan Kimathi University, Mt. Kenya University and Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) with Pool C comprising last year’s runner-up MMUST, Kabarak University, Daystar University and Technical University of Kenya (TUK).

Qualifiers improved competition

Organizers said playing through four qualifying tournaments has helped to improve competition among participating universities. Each university was required to take part in at least two legs to be eligible for the national tournament.

“Last year, EXP came to us very late and we had to pick 12 teams in a way that was not good. On the material day, we had 17 teams turning up with 5 on standby asking who had pulled out to take their place,” KUSA vice chairman Boniface Salano said during a press briefing on Monday.

“This year, we promised to do a circuit to have the best qualifiers and it was successful. It was very competitive.”

Just like last year, the winner will receiveSh.150,000 with the runner-up Sh.75,000. The tournament’s Technical Director Maina Muniafu said Kings of Rugby is a good platform for tapping young talent that remains idle in the country.

He said the inclusion of more teams from outside Nairobi is a move in the right direction. “Our vision is to have young people involved in the game. Kenya has huge talent to compete with any team and at any level but we lack the ability to harness that,” he observed.

“The good thing with this tournament is its profiling. Am proud to see teams from upcountry taking part and it's their opportunity to show the best.”

EXP Managing Director Simon Manambo reiterated their commitment to see the tournament scale even bigger heights. “When we met KUSA, we felt there is something good we could do.

There are many young people out there who need motivation and support to actualize their sporting dreams. As EXP, we are committed and in this for the long-term to give our youths a platform to showcase their talent.”

Kings of Rugby Draw: Pool A: Kenyatta University, Egerton University, JKUAT, Africa Nazarene University; Pool B: USIU-A, Dedan Kimathi University, Mt. Kenya University, KEMU; MMUST, Kabarak University, Daystar University, TUK.