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  1. A Decade Later, Rugby Union returns to Nigeria National Sports Festival – Edo 2020
  2. NRFF President urges women to take on greater roles in Rugby
  3. Former Nigeria Women’s Rugby Captain gets Africa Rugby Welfare Committee Appointment
  4. Rugby Africa announces establishment of Referee Committee
  5. NRFF Vice President; Grace Iyorhe has been appointed into Rugby Africa Women’s Rugby Advisory Sub Committee.

The Race

Nigeria has thus far not qualified for a Rugby World Cup but has competed in qualifying tournaments. Nigeria played their first international against Zimbabwe on 1 August 1987, losing by 111-12 in Nairobi. The event turned out to be the greatest defeat the Nigeria National team will face so far.

Nigeria tried to qualify for the first time for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but lost to Senegal (6-48) and Cameroon (8-18), and was eliminated. Nigeria also missed the 2011 Rugby World Cup, after losing to Cameroon (6-26), in the pre-qualifier.

The professional era (2019 – 2020)

on Saturday 3 August 2019 at the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina-Ghana, the Nigeria Black Stallions beat the Ghana Eagles by 14 points to 12 in a nailbiting rendition of the first-ever Ghana-Nigeria Rugby Presidents’ Cup

In doing so Nigeria also took the second spot in the first-ever WARS (West Africa Rugby Series) Ghana Men’s XVs Invitational that was won by the Ivorian Elephants.

Nigeria Rugby History

Rugby union was first introduced into Nigeria by the British empire. For a number of years, the game was dominated by white settlers and expatriates, and to an extent, a number of expatriate oil workers still play there. A number of Nigerian players have emigrated to the UK which later gave birth to a London Nigerian Rugby Club. Nigeria is currently ranked 69th in the world by World Rugby (23 November 2020). Nigeria’s previous ranking was 73rd in the world(2015)

Games played 23, Games Won 8, Games Lost 13, Games Drawn 2, Longest Winning Streak 4, Longest Losing Streak 6, Teams Played 15, Teams Beaten 6, Teams Beaten By 11 Teams Drawn With 2 Grounds Played At 1.

Largest Points For 61, Largest Points Against 111, Largest Winning Margin 51, Largest Losing Margin-99, Total Points For 375, Avg Points For 16.3, Total Points Against 549, Avg Points Against 23.87, Total Points Difference -174, Avg Points Difference -7.57

Evolution of the game (20011 – 2020)

Nigeria participated in the C.A.R (Confederation of Africaine Rugby) in Marrakesh, Morocco on 24–25 September 2011. In the pool stages Nigeria defeated Senegal and Burkina Faso but was defeated by hosts Morocco, however, Nigeria still progressed to the semi-finals where she was to face regular IRB participants, Tunisia. Nigeria was beaten in the semi-finals by a very experienced Tunisian team, however pride was restored in the 3rd/ 4th place playoff against Ivory Coast, where Nigeria came from behind in the second half to force the game into sudden-death extra time where a last-minute try by Craig Olugbode gave the victory to the Nigerian. This meant Nigeria qualified for the All Africa 7s tournament in September 2012 which was the African regional ranking and qualifying tournament for the Rugby World Cup 7s in Russia in 2013.

In the African regional RWC 7s qualifier held again in Morocco on 29 and 30 September 2012 the Nigeria 7s team finished third overall and just missed out on RWC qualification. Failure to beat Madagascar in the group game despite dominating the match meant that Nigeria would play tournament favorites Zimbabwe in the semi-final rather than Tunisia. Nigeria lost 19-14 and Zimbabwe went on to beat Tunisia 31-7 in the final. Nigeria redeemed its image by beating Madagascar 20-12 in the 3rd/4th place playoff leaving us 5th ranked in Africa and the 3rd ranked African Commonwealth member.

Nigeria 7s qualified to participate at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Nigeria was drawn alongside Canada, hosts Scotland, and all-time Commonwealth champions Newzealand but the team was shockingly withdrawn by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) without clarifications as to why such a decision was made.

The team finished in eighth place at The Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens Olympic Qualifiers at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, Johannesburg on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of November, 2015. injuries and knocks to five members of the team affected the overall performance as captain; Azeez Ladipo injured his shoulder in the early minutes of the first game and they managed him through some matches. Nuhu Samaila, Ike Onwukanjo, Onyinye Onwukanjo, Hafis Ayinla; were also injured leaving the team with one substitute in the last two matches.

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