What you need to know:
- It’s envisaged that the tentative 2021 rugby season will kick off on January 16 next year with top flight Kenya Cup matches that will be staged in two pools of six teams each
- The Rugby Super Series were discontinued in 2015 after the main sponsors Bamburi Cement pulled out after having facilitated the event for eight consecutive years
- Gangla said they are looking forward to holding KRU Championship play-offs on December 12 and 19 this year if the Ministries of Sports and Health will have cleared them
The Rugby Super Series are back after seven years.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Oduor Gangla Thursday disclosed that the Series that were held last in 2014, will be staged from May 15 to 29 next year with or without a sponsor.
It’s envisaged that the tentative 2021 rugby season will kick off on January 16 next year with top flight Kenya Cup matches that will be staged in two pools of six teams each.
The Kenya Cup will be held within three months with the play-offs due on April 3 and the final on April 17. The six teams in each pool will engage in a one-off duel with the top two teams from each pool proceeding to the semi-finals on April 3.
The winners will then lock horns in the final on April 17 before the league paves way for the Super Rugby Series to be played on May 15, May 22 and May 29 respectively.
“The Kenya Cup fixtures will be tight and will be played throughout,” said Gangla adding that only four franchises from Kenya will take part in the Rugby Super Series.
No Uganda franchises
The Rugby Super Series were discontinued in 2015 after the main sponsors Bamburi Cement pulled out after having facilitated the event for eight consecutive years. Just in 2014 when the last event was held, Bamburi forked out Sh20 million for the event that had two franchises from Uganda and four from Kenya.
“We won’t have the Ugandan franchises this time around owing to the Covid-19 situation,” said Gangla, who was speaking after he signed a five-year broadcast partnership with Mediamax Network at the RFUEA ground.
Mediamax Network acting CEO Ken Ngaruiya was at hand to pen down the deal that will see the media house have exclusive rights for KRU flagship competitions including those involving national teams.
Safari Sevens planned for October 23 to 24 next year will be the last event of the season, having been preceded by the National Sevens Series between July 24 and September 11.
With no winners having been declared for the 2019/20 season, the seeding for 2021 has been done based on how the teams finished during the regular 2019/20 season.
The regular 2019/20 season had ended and teams were preparing for the play-offs before Covid-19 pandemic outbreak ground sports activities to a halt in March this year.
Play-offs in December
Kabras Sugar topped the league followed by defending champion Kenya Commercial Bank to claim automatic slots in the semi-finals. Homeboyz were to play Menengai Oilers with the winner meeting KCB while Impala Saracens were up against Mwamba with the winner set to take on Kabras Sugar.
Pool “A” will have Kabras Sugar, Impala Saracens, Mwamba, Blak Blad, Kenya Harlequin and a team that will be promoted from KRU Championship. KCB highlight Pool “B” that has Homeboyz, Menengai Oilers, Nakuru, Nondescripts and a team that will have earned promotion from KRU Championship too.
Gangla said they are looking forward to holding KRU Championship play-offs on December 12 and 19 this year if the Ministries of Sports and Health will have cleared them.
Strathmore Leos topped the KRU Championship unbeaten with 76 points followed by Masinde Muliro University with 67 points to secure the semi-final slots. The Leos will face the winner between Northern Suburbs and United States International University.
Masinde Muliro will meet the winner between Mean Machine from the University of Nairobi and Egerton Wasps. The semi-final winners will earn promotion to the Kenya Cup.
Gangla said the final fixtures will be released in December after consultation with clubs and the government.
The Impala Floodlit tournament is tentatively programmed for September 18 to October 2 next year.