2019 Women’s 15-aside tournament set to kick off

By Clement Wekulo: Friday, April 26th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Loren Akoth (left) of Top Fry Nakuru RFC battles for the ball with Impala RFC player during the finals of the Kenya Rugby Union Women 10 Aside League tournament at Nakuru Athletics Club on March 31, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The 2019 Women’s 15-aside tournament is set to get underway over the weekend with three franchise teams confirmed for participation.

The three sides have been drawn from nine core teams that featured in the Women’s 10-aside festival as well as six other varsity outfits which participated in the Kenya University Sports Association Sevens competition.

Impala Ladies, who were recently crowned champions at the Great Rift 10-aside, will amalgamate with Homeboyz and Comras to form a team nicknamed Chui while Mwamba Ladies, Northern Suburbs and Kenyatta University’s Blad Babes combine to form Black Lions.

The third franchise is a combination of Nakuru RFC, Masinde Muliro University, Egerton, Maseno University, Kisumu Dolphins and Shamas Rugby Foundation.

The tournament, which is played in memory of former Kenya Lionesses captain Aberdeen Shikoyi, will as has been the tradition, adopt a festival format with all the matches taking place at one venue.

According to Kenya Rugby Union Director of Women rugby Moses Ndale, it is from this competition that the Kenya Lionesses team which will take part in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers set for August will be selected.

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Ndale further said that plans are in place to have the national women’s team face Uganda in the Elgon Cup before embarking on World Cup qualifiers. 

The 12-team 2021 Women’s World Cup will be hosted in New Zealand and with World Rugby having recently announced a new qualification pathway, Lionesses will fancy their chances to make a maiden appearance at the global showpiece.

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