With the curtains having fallen on the 2010 Kenya Cup, rugby lovers need not worry as the Bamburi Rugby Super Series kicks off on Saturday 24th April 2010 with three potentially great fixtures on the cards. There will be a third fixture on Tuesday 27th April 2010 when Ugandan sides Rwenzori and Victoria face off in a delayed pool B fixture. The reason for the delay has been occasioned by the final round of fixtures in the Uganda Rugby Union's league matches taking place on the same date. These matches signal the beginning of five weekends of great rugby and a tedious national team selection process for the Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian selectors. The Bamburi Rugby Super Series truly is the future of fifteens' rugby.
Nairobi's RFUEA Grounds sees SDV Cheetahs; champions in 2004 and 2006 host the 2008 champions Lions in the opening pool A fixture from 1400hrs East African Time. The Cheetahs, an amalgamation of Impala RFC and Nondescripts RFC will be out to get their 2010 BRSS campaign off to a flying start against a steely Lions side which is an amalgamation of 2010 Kenya Cup runners up Kenya Commercial Bank RFC, Mwamba RFC and Mombasa.
What can we expect from this clash? Hard running, solid forward play...that's what you get when you fuse Impala and Nondies players in one team...but then again...that combination of Kenya Commercial Bank RFC and Mwamba RFC is equally potent...we are in for an entertaining BRSS opener.
The second fixture at the RFUEA sees the UAP Rhinos, the most successful franchise in BRSS history to date, take on the Mumias Sugar Buffaloes in a pool B fixture from 1600hrs East African Time. The Rhinos are an amalgamation of newly crowned Kenya Cup winners Kenya Harlequin and Nakuru RFC, a side who were fourth in the just concluded Kenya Cup league. They won the inaugural edition in 2003, adding two more titles in 2007 and 2009. Can they become the first side to successfully defend the BRSS title?
The Mumias Sugar Buffaloes is made up of players from Western Kenya sides Kisumu RFC, Masinde Muliro, Bungoma RFC, Kakamega RFC and Eldoret Flames. There has been a deliberate attempt to enhance the growth of rugby in that part of the country and giving them a franchise ties into that attempt. The Buffaloes won the title in 2005 but in all honesty are out to gain experience and exposure as they enjoy the tournament.
Arusha's Friedkin Recreation Center plays host to Saturday's third fixture pitting home side Bank M Twigas against Kenya's Nguvu Sharks.
The Twigas, an amalgamation of all Tanzanian clubs, made their debut in 2008 and return to the BRSS after a year's absence. Tanzanian Rugby Union President Tinus Aucamp says, "Participating in this year's tournament is a great opportunity for us to draw more attention to our sport," he adds. "It allows Tanzania to face stronger competition from our neighbors, showing young people here how well the game is played in Kenya and Uganda."
He continues, "Aucamp continued, "Playing in the Super Series is an important step in reaching our next goal, full IRB membership. We have to prove that we can compete internationally, and that we're 'growing the game' in Tanzania. The upcoming matches will be the foundation of our preparations for the Confederation of African Rugby Trophy Tournament to be held in Arusha this June. They'll really test our mettle. And the regional exposure helps attract Tanzanian youth to rugby."
The Nguvu Sharks, a combined Universities and Colleges side from Kenya also debuted in 2008, reaching the semi final at the very first time of asking. Can they go one better in 2010?
They will need to get off to a flying start against a Twigas side who have made it clear they are not just out to make up the numbers.
The Chairman's Cup, a satellite tournament for players who missed out on selection to the various franchises also kicks off this weekend at selected venues countrywide.
Tournament Media Manager
Bamburi Rugby Super Series 2010
"the future of fifteens rugby"
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