Nigeria Squad Announced For Ivory Coast
The NRFF have announced the squad who will tour to the Ivory Coast to play three test matches in the Africa Nations Cup (1C)
The squad is much changed from the touring side that played in the Africa Nations Cup last year in Botswana. All in all there are 15 uncapped (at 15-a-side) players in the 24 man squad. Team manager Mark Dean was very positive about this fact and highlighted the progression of Nigerian rugby over the last 24 months as well as the improved identification of talented players both in the domestic leagues in Nigeria and the exiles programme overseas.
"This year we have been able to select players who are playing their club rugby at good levels in France, the UK, the USA and Nigeria" Dean stated. "Obviously the larger the pool of talent we have to select from then the faster the elite level of rugby in Nigeria will develop and provide that aspirational link to develop the grass roots domestic game"
Nigeria play test matches against Mauritius, Morocco and Zambia as they bid to improve their IRB ranking and also further their aim of qualification for the 2019 RWC in Japan.
The Tour Squad
Forwards: James Doherty (Richmond), Adedoyin Layade (Marseille), Francis Ugwu (Old Mid-Whitgiftian), Usani Ewah (Dallas), Ayo Salau (Loughborough), Abdul Abdulsamad (Barewa RFC), Moshope Osinibi (Old Alleynian), Moyo Osinibi (Old Alleynian), Chukwuma Osazuwa (Heriots), Ebenezer Ikediashi (Beckenham), Emmanuel Akinluyi (Cambridge), John Kura (Racing RFC), Adam Aigbokhae (Caldy)
Backs: David Akinluyi (Esher), Temi Okenla (Old Mid-Whitgiftian), Toto Odulaja (Loughborough), Martin Olima (Blackheath), Gbade Adewola (Cardiff University), Ade Adebisi (London Skolars), Nuhu Ibrahim (Kano RFC), Tan Mbonu (Enfield Ignatians), Tiwa Obisesan (Canterbury),
The following players are on standby for players in italics above:
Backs: Samson Yahaya (Police), Jay Udo-Udoma (Barking), Joseph Mogaji (Worthing), Rhodri Ihenacho (Hull University), Ono Jatto (Old Edwardians/Bristol)
Forwards: Olayemi Lawal (London Nigerian), Olisa Ufodiama (Imperial College), Felix Ogbole (Kaduna RFC)
Manager: Mark Dean (Samurai)
Coach: Gavin Hogg (Bury St Edmunds)
Physio: Emma Mark (Esher)