The inaugural first of two matches in the 2019 Ghana-Nigeria Rugby President’s Cup is set to kick off tomorrow 3 August 2019 at 11 am on the Nduom Sports Stadium in Elmina Ghana.
This historic event will also mark the end of the 2019 July WARS (West African Rugby Series) Men’s XVs Ghana Invitational Tournament.
The Ghana-Nigeria President’s Cup was announced earlier this year in March by the Presidents of Ghana Rugby, Mr Herbert Mensah, and the President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation, Mr Kelechukwu Mbagwu.
Mensah said at the time that a principle decision was reached between himself and Kelechi Mbagwu in Marrakech-Morocco during the 13th General Assembly of Rugby Africa to kickstart possible wider international cooperation with the President’s Cup.
“Everybody knows that the tournament structure of Rugby Africa falls short to give Rugby nations in Africa enough match exposure to ‘breed’ the next Rugby World Cup participants besides for South Africa and Namibia. Even Rugby Africa has asked Members to seriously look at friendly internationals between regional states,” Mensah said.
According to Kelechukwu Mbagwu, President of the NRFF, Nigeria and Ghana have had a long and exciting history of sports rivalry.
At the launch announcement, Mbagwu said, “It’s been the very best of rivalries, the rivalry between Siblings. I remember those epic Nigeria/Ghana soccer matches-: the Green Eagles against the Black Stars and the Nigeria/Ghana sports festival when Modupe Oshikoya ran against Alice Annan. Those are the thrilling images I see when I think of this new Nigeria-Ghana tussle.”
The NRFF President continued to say that he is proud and honoured to be amongst the founders of what can only be seen as a traditional coming together of two mighty brothers of whom mother Africa can be justly proud.
Mbagwu concluded by saying, “Ghana have set themselves an extremely high bar with their dynamic and vital President, Herbert Mensah, leading the way but when we get on the field it will be a different story. Long live the Nigeria/Ghana detente.”
Mr Charles Yapo, Rugby Africa Development Manager for the Region, said at the time of the launch that this is a very good initiative that will strengthen the relationship between these two nations in terms of rugby and allow players to have a little more playtime.
“It is also an opportunity to encourage other rugby nations to follow in the footsteps of Ghana and Nigeria. For the 2019 season, Rugby Africa encourages and supports this kind of initiative. Congratulations and Rugby Africa is at your side,” Yapo said
The match will also mark the end of the July 2019 WARS Men’s XVs Ghana Invitational Tournament.
Ivory Coast has already managed to be crowned WARS Men’s Champions by beating both Ghana and Nigeria. The match on Saturday will thus also be the deciding match on who will be the runners-up in the historic event initiated that was initiated by Ghana Rugby’s President, Mr Herbert Mensah.
The lineups for the match between Nigeria and the Ivory Coast were:
First XV: 22. Sunday Bassey 2. Umar Ibrahim Suraj 3. Godwin Dina Otoro JR 4. Isaac Cato Sani 5. John Terseer Kura 6. Alex Onome Richard 7. Ekubi Samuel Ekpo 8. Jude Peter Abrakson 9. Hassan Muhammed 10. Nuhu Ibrahim Samila 11. Alfred Sunday Oche 12. Joshua Effiong Etim 13. Onori-Oyiza Jude Emmanuel Jatto 14. Abdulmalik Atomuhaku Salihu 15. Gebriel Etim John
Substitutes: 16. Mohammad Ahmad Umar 1. Ricky Ezenwa Nwagbara 17. Abduljelili Adeniyi Adeshina 18. Suleimon Olatunde Abdulganiyu 19. David Kazeem Oyekanmi 20. Monday Henry Omoragieva 21. Jeremiah Peter 23. Ezikiel Essien Tom
Coach: Bronson Weir
First XV: 1. Andrews Kwamena Amissah 2. Prince Boamah 3. Christian Percy Adamson 4. Calestus Bosoka 5. Micheal Arthur 6. Gideon Klugey 7. Alexander Dorpenyo 8. Eric Tettegah 9. Richard Kwesi 10. Francis Kweku Mensah-Donkor 11. Solomon Baba Akumba 12. Michael Acquay 13. Jerry Danquah 14. Kofi Montchon 15. Abdul Jalilu Yussif
Substitutes: 16. Abdul Wahid Illiasu 24. Seidu Ibrahim 18. Jason Kweku Dzata 19. Lukman Yaya 25. Eric Acquah 21. John Donkor 22. Emmanuel Terakuu 23. Suwabiru Salim Amuzuloh
Coach: Lovemore ‘Dallas’ Kuzorera
Match Officials: Match Referee: Mathias Bvepfepfe (Zimbabwe) Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Chiwanda (Zimbabwe) and Clement Dennis (Ghana)