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Mbagwu Opens New Vista for Home-based Rugby Players

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first_imgDuro IkhazuagbeNewly elected President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF), Kenechukwu Mbagwu, has opened new vista for home-based rugby players in the country. Henceforth, there will be no more preference for foreign-based players in the selection of players to represent the country at major tournaments.Speaking at a media parley in Lagos on Tuesday morning, Mbagwu said that under the new administration both foreign and home-based players are going to be called to camp to fight for shirts in the senior national rugby team.“I don’t believe that foreign-base players are better than their colleagues based here at home. We will henceforth invite players to camp and select the best among them to wear the national colours,” stressed Mbagwu who is also the MD/CEO of CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Co Limited. While alluding to what happened in soccer during the Clemens Westerhof era, the NRFF president insisted that with good rugby league spread out across the country, “Many talented players are going to be discovered. Opening up the country to rugby leagues in the North East for instance will show what players from that region are capable of doing. Part of my vision is to spread rugby in the North, especially in the North Eastern states like Borno and others which will help spread the gospel of peace in the region. My board would work closely with state governments to achieve this.”He also revealed plans to ensure that the Northern and South West leagues continued to grow, adding that the South-east and South-south would be given adequate support to improve their standards.Mbagwu harped on developing the game at the grassroots, starting with the schools. “If we can introduce the sport to four schools in Borno for instance, we would have set up a system that will grow the game in the state. “The school rugby programme is a very important aspect of the development of the game and we will work closely with I-Try, if they agree to work with us, to develop a more encompassing model.“We want to see students taking to rugby as the game of choice while in JSS so that when they get to SSS they would have been in the game so much that they will be in the school team. That culture will be sustained when they leave school. It is better that way than introducing them to the sport after leaving college,” revealed the NRFF boss who has been the major financier of the sport in the country in the last decade.Mbagwu also promised to work with all stakeholders in rugby now that elections are over. “There is no point is dwelling in the past. We are reaching out to all aggrieved parties involved in the elections.”As a top corporate player in the country’s economy, the NRFF president promised to make transparency the benchmark of his administration of rugby in the country.“Accountability is one of the biggest concerns we have had in recent time. There is not so much money out there for us to go and get just like that. There are so many causes and only those with the right attitude and structure can assess it.“Already, we have an accountant that takes care of our money, but we have the power to appoint a chief financial officer, who will take care of the finances. So, it is not the President’s job to handle the money of the federation,” Mbagwu pledged.He promised to get the suspension clamped on Nigeria lifted and join the fray in hosting continental competitions. “Talks are underway to resolve existing issues with Rugby Africa. We have no fear over that because the issues that led to Nigeria’s suspension have been taken care of with the election of a new board for the federation.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Notre Dame senior Mikey Wynne leading Notre Dame in final season

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first_imgLeading by one goal against North Carolina on April 22, 2017, then-junior Notre Dame attack Mikey Wynne patiently waited near the net.With a flurry of Tar Heels defenders surrounding him, he watched calmly as his teammate, then senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic, swam move to separate from the Tar Heels defending him. Wynne, noticing the opportunity for a possible attack, moved slightly toward Perkovic. The bait worked; the UNC defender took a step forward, to cover the passing lane while Wynne slid back, faking out the entire Tar Heels defense. Perkovic slung the ball to Wynne, who slotted away his second goal of five on the day.Ever since his freshman season, Notre Dame senior captain Wynne has taken on a large offensive role for the Irish. The Maryland native totaled over 30 points in each of his first three years. Now as a senior, he directs the team on and off the field. In seven games this season Wynne has poured in 13 goals, tying with Syracuse attack Brendan Bomberry. On Saturday, the two will play at opposite ends when No. 7 Notre Dame (5-2, 1-0 ACC) takes on No. 10 Syracuse (4-3, 2-0 ACC) in the Carrier Dome.“I always have looked up to (former Notre Dame seniors) like Jimmy Marlatt, Jack Near, and Conor Doyle for examples to how to lead,” he said. “I just want to be the best example for the guys younger than me.”Entering college in 2013, Wynne was not afraid. He had been prepared for intense competition since a young age.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWynne grew up in a family with three older brothers, all of whom played lacrosse. The Wynne brothers routinely practiced in his backyard. Whether it was two-on-one, horse, or shooting drills, Wynne’s brothers pushed him to get better, he said.As he grew older, his preparation with his family translated into success. In his final two seasons of high school, he totaled 141 goals and 45 assists. He captained St. Paul’s (Maryland) School in his senior season to the championship game of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs.“I learned the game at a quick rate,” he said. “I always have played for coaches who played the game so that helped a lot.”In his first game for ND, Wynne totaled six goals in a 14-12 win over Georgetown. He followed that up with a four-goal performance the next game against Michigan. He ended his first season with 33 goals and four assists.To the other Irish players, his success was a result of his work in the pre-season.“The way he played early on was great to see,” former Notre Dame midfielder Near said, “We had seen him play well all throughout fall so I don’t think it was really that surprising when the season came around.”During his freshman season, it was obvious to most on the team that Wynne had natural leadership qualities, Near said.As he progressed throughout college, he grew more into that commanding role.“He does more things now with distributing the ball and understanding the flow of the offense,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said. “Now, he’s capable of of doing a lot of other things as well. His game has continued to evolve as he’s matured.”Now, his job is to set the tone for the next generation of Fighting Irish lacrosse players, just like the upperclassmen did for him.“As a captain, I get to represent all the guys before me who were in my position,” Wynne said. Comments Published on March 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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