KENYA will take part in their first major tournament when they replace Morocco in the Middle East African Championship, which will be held at the Legon Stadium of the University of Accra, Ghana, from September 27 to October 2.
“This is a great opportunity to assess the progress of the Kenya Rugby League and it will help motivate the players in a high performance environment,” said KRLF Chairman Richard Adhere. “It will certainly boost the growth of rugby league in Kenya. It will also give RL an opportunity to market and grow a brand that is still in its infancy.
John Mbai, Director of Growth and Development at KRLF, added: “We have developed a local working structure which has been ostensibly designed as a platform for players to move internationally, as part of the growth of the game.
“It will also give impetus to player development efforts across clubs and make the domestic league more competitive. It will be a learning opportunity and help to empower our referees, coaches and other staff on how best to to direct and manage the game.
The Kenya squad will be coached by former Leeds and Dewsbury winger Eddie Rombo and although the MEA Championship is now a route to qualification for the 2025 Rugby World Cup, Kenya – although still an observer member – is not eligible to continue but intends to submit an affiliate application for membership within the next 12 months.
MEA Regional Director Remond Safi said, “It is great that Kenya is mobilizing to participate in the short term after Morocco’s governance issues resulting from the pandemic. Kenya’s involvement will increase awareness and pathways for players in the local business, and help KRLF’s goals to fulfill its membership application once their first international matches are completed.