Kenya, Western Province match to highlight BRSS

By francis marangu
Mar 11, 2021
  • Bamburi MD Hussein Mansi signs the dummy cheque as Bamburi Head of Corporate Affairs Susan Maingi,KRU Chairman Mwangi Muthee(centre) and KRU CEO Jack Okoth look on.

Kenya 15s test match against South African side Western Province will highlight the 2014 Bamburi Rugby Super Series, BRSS, which kicks off on April 26 and will adopt a new playing format. The international match will be played on June 7 in Nairobi, the same day as the BRSS final.

On Tuesday, Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee said the invitation was in honour of the South African rugby fraternity for supporting Kenya’s course.

“It took long for SARU to be convinced that Kenya was good to play in the Vodacom Cup. This is an appreciation for their good gesture.”

Muthee spoke during the launch of this year’s BRSS that will feature four franchises from Kenya and two from Uganda. Bamburi Cement Limited, the official title sponsor, has committed Sh.20 million which is an increase from last year’s Ksh.13.5 million sponsorship. Ksh.15 million will be availed in cash with Ksh.5 million coming in kind.

Organizers, however, confirmed the prize money for the winner remains Sh.1 million with allowances unchanged. Bamburi Cement Managing Director Hussein Mansi hailed the role played by BRSS in nurturing young rugby talent in the country which culminate with success of the fifteens team. “During our sponsorship for the last eleven years, we have seen talent grow.

We can see the fruits of that in the 15s team playing in South Africa and who are about to reach the world cup.”

Ndovu, to comprise players from Western, Nakuru, Kisumu and Eldoret is the defending champion and leads the Kenyan franchises.

Others are Papa to feature players from KCB, Homeboyz RFC and Mwamba RFC; Kifaru which will bring together all universities and Chui for Nondescript RFC, Kenya Harlequin and Impala RFC. Uganda will be represented by regulars Rwenzori and Victoria.

For the first time, the matches will be played in five different venues across the two countries. Kampala, Kakamega, Nakuru, Machakos and Nairobi will play host in that order from day one.

“The venues will be rotating to take competition to all the rugby frontiers in the country and capture new following,” Muthee noted.

“If rugby is thriving in Machakos and Kakamega, we need to bring in their participation because fans want to watch rugby outside Nairobi.”

Less teams in future

Muthee said BRSS will have to be compressed in future relating to number of franchises in making the contest tighter.

The idea seems to have started taking root this year with two franchises being dropped from previous years.

Tournament director Godwin Karuga allayed any fears that the tourney’s flare will be watered down since it coincides with the Kenya Cup playoffs and fifteens team participation in Vodacom Cup. “As a country, we need to develop new players and not focusing on the same faces all the time. It is actually an opportunity for new players to come up for exposure.”

The eight franchises have been divided into two pools with Kampala hosting the opening day fixtures while Nairobi will be the venue for finals. Ndovu, Chui and Victoria are in Pool A while Pool B has Rwenzori, Papa and Kifaru.

Seeding was based on last year’s performance for every franchise. All the matches will be televised live by KRUs broadcast sponsor Zuku.

2014 BRSS Draw- Pool A- Ndovu, Chui, Victoria; Pool B- Rwenzori, Papa, Kifaru; Order of Play: April 26 (Kampala)- Victoria vs Chui (2pm), Rwenzori vs Papa (4pm); May 3 (Kakamega)- Papa vs Kifaru (2pm), Ndovu vs Victoria (4pm); May 17 (Nakuru)- Kifaru vs Rwenzori (2pm), Ndovu vs Chui (4pm); Semifinals: May 24 (Machakos)- B1 vs A2 (2pm), A1 vs B2 (4pm); June 7 (Nairobi)- Loser Semi 1 vs Loser Semi 2 (12pm, third place playoff), Winner Semi 1 vs Winner Semi 2 (2pm, final); Kenya vs Western Province (4pm, international friendly).