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Three Kenyans to officiate Rugby in Lesotho this Weekend

RUGBY By Mike Kihaki | January 27th 2022 | 3 min read
Kenya Sevens.[Courtesy-World Rugby]

Three Kenya Rugby Union officials will be on duty at the 2022 Rugby Africa Regional South 2022 Tournament in Lesotho from 29th to 30th January, 2022.

Peris Mukoko, Michael Mwanja and Beryl Akinyi have all been appointed to serve during this weekend due to their experience in their respective categories.

 Mukoko is a World Rugby Accredited Match Officials Educator, and will be on duty as a Coach of Match Officials during the tournament. 

“My role at the tournament will be coach of match officials, working closely with Mudiwa Mundawarara the Rugby Africa Referee Manager in overseeing the continuous development of the upcoming and panel match officials during the two-day event.” read the statement.

Mwanja, who works as KRU’s Fixtures and Competitions Administrator, is a World Rugby Accredited Match Commissioner and will be on duty at the tournament in that capacity. The Match Commissioner is a senior official at the match venue and will be responsible for matters related to the playing enclosure, the conduct of the match and the elements related to teams in the organization of each match.

In the case of a regional or national tournament, the Match Commissioner will represent the regional or national body under whose jurisdiction the match is taking place. In this case, Mwanja will be representing Rugby Africa which is the regional organizing body.

The responsibilities of the Match Commissioner shall include decisions related to the delay of matches and implementation of such decisions in accordance with the Terms of Participation for the match or tournament in question.

The Match Commissioner also adjudicates on Team Managers’ disputes where appropriate, including disputes regarding the three main areas of adherence to the match day run sheet, field of play and Terms of Participation.

“It is a privilege and a singular honour to be appointed as the Match Commissioner by Rugby Africa. When you work hard repeatedly, you will eventually get rewarded and having spent so many hours managing KRU’s leagues and tournaments, it’ll be a huge honour to serve for Rugby Africa at Maseru in Lesotho,”said Mwanja.

Akinyi, a World Rugby Accredited Level Two match official, who has officiated in five Rugby Africa tournaments over the last few years will serve in the same capacity when the tournament gets underway.

“It is always an honour and a privilege to get appointed for any Rugby Africa Tournament. It is a good platform for us(Kenyans) to showcase our standards of officiating, and also I get to share what I have learnt with my fellow match officials back home,” said Akinyi.

The Seven’s Regional tournament South Group features four Men’s teams (Mauritius, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho) and five women’s teams (Mauritius, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Zimbabwe).

The tournament will serve as a qualifier for the Africa Men’s and Women’s Sevens which will in turn serve as qualifiers to both the Sevens World Cup and Commonwealth Games. From the South Regional Sevens tournament, 2 men and 1 women teams will qualify for African Men & Africa Women Sevens tournaments respectively.

When asked about her thoughts on the appointment, Mukoko said it’s an exciting opportunity to visit a new country in Africa and also to see where the game continues to spread. She is looking forward to working with the ladies and the gents who will be on the field and more so experience the atmosphere of 7s (Pre) Qualifier tournament Men & Women for Southern Africa which has 9 teams in total taking part.

 “Prior to that, we will have a workshop/clinic with the match officials and the Lesotho Referees Society on Friday where we will go through the overall Rugby Africa tournament manual guidelines, World Rugby Laws & the 7s variations in preparation for the tournament.” Lesotho won the championship in 2019 and will now defend the title on home soil. Tournament runs from January 29-30, 2020.?

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