9th July, 2010
The Nigerian rugby fraternity will this weekend move to the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria for the oldest club rugby tournament, the Lelliker 15-A-Side Championship.
The one-day tournament, which will kick-off by 12 noon tomorrow, has forced Friends of Rugby, the nationâ€™s rugby promoting group, to postpone its Tri-Regional Rugby Tournament, earlier scheduled for this weekend, till a later date.
According to the secretary of Friends of Rugby, Ntiense O. Williams, â€œwe are very proud of Zaria Rugby Football Club and her involvement in promoting the game in Nigeria. This made us to postpone the national Tri- Regional Rugby tournament.â€
Alhaji Ahmed Ali, Chairman of the Zaria Rugby football club, who is also the sole administrator of the Hamwa Development Area Council in Zaria, stated that the Lelliker rugby tournament has been held annually for the past 24 years.
â€œWe are indebted to the management of Lelliker Company, led by its Managing Director,Â Railton Trevor, for the consistent sponsorship of the tournament and for also being a major backer of rugby programmes in the country,â€ he said.
CoachÂ Yakubu Muhamed, who is a veteran of the game, with over 12 caps for the national team and surprisingly still playing his traditional Hookerâ€™s position for his Zaria Rugby Club and Kaduna State team, also expressed gratitude to Friends of Rugby for postponing the Tri- Regional Rugby Tournament. He said stakeholders and players are looking forward to the competition.
â€”WaleÂ Â Â Joseph