The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is preparing to parade mostly local players in preparation for the Rugby Africa Cup match in November 2019.
Ghana Rugby headed by its President, Herbert Mensah, has a policy that relies on 95 per cent of local players for its competitive games.
The Ghana national rugby team, the Ghana Eagles, also boast of a squad of foreign-based professional players who are often called to duty during competitive tournaments.
But this time, according to the President, the team is going into a three West African nations rugby tournament to compete with a purely local team.
In a video broadcast (https://youtu.be/RkTRIu3sctE), Herbert Mensah announced that this forms part of preparations for the national rugby team to play Botswana in a Rugby Africa Cup tournament in November and also for the Men’s 7s Olympic Qualifier tournament, also in November 2019 in South Africa.
Between July 28 and August 3 2019, Nduom Stadium in Elmina, Ghana will host Nigeria and Ivory Coast in a competitive tournament as part of a new rugby format championed by world rugby.
“The rugby game is changing. We no longer have Gold Cup, Silver Cup or Bronze Cup. There is a new format that the Europeans have tried to implement and World Rugby is trying to replicate throughout the world”.
He said the focus of Ghana Rugby is the development of the game which comes from having to work on training, nutrition and feeding, branding, motivation and playing more competitive games to improve on the quality of rugby in Ghana and to attract the much-needed sponsorship from private capital.
Herbert Mensah expressed excitement about the Ghana local squad going into the three nations tournament at the weekend.
“Apart from the financial issues involved, the rugby game has gone beyond big names players to developing new talent to give them an opportunity and exposure”.
He continued, “I am excited about the local squad we are parading because we have brought in players who have never played at this level before to encourage everybody who thought they could never get the chance to play.
We’ve brought in players from various clubs for the first time and we are excited about this team. In the end, I hope we are right but if we are wrong we’ll go back to the drawing board”.
He disclosed that there is a top-level Zimbabwean referee in Ghana to train and expose the local referees and local national team players to the world rugby new rules that apply during match situations in competitive games.
“This top-level referee in the country will be educating our local players and referees on the so many new laws that apply in a professional game situation such as the laws on breakdown, the laws on offside and the so many other new laws that we must incorporate into our training sessions going forward so I am excited about that “.
New System of Play
Herbert Mensah also made known a new system of play adopted by Ghana Rugby which is bigger than individual players with massive names or big egos. According to him, the new system allows Ghana Rugby to go ahead because this system of play makes a lot more sense and goes beyond individual players.