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In a strategic move aimed at fortifying Kenya’s U18 rugby talent pipeline, the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has embarked on a project in collaboration with the country’s public and International schools, spearheaded by the Development Department under the leadership of Development Coordinator Ronnald Okoth, and coach Paul Odera. The initiative, designed to nurture young talent, is set to elevate the nation’s rugby prowess from the grassroots level to the international stage.

Under the auspices of the 15s High Performance Program, a total of 60 promising players from each region are being meticulously selected to integrate into the U18 program. The selection process, which draws talent from the ongoing 15s schools games, is a concerted effort to identify and groom the next generation of rugby stars.

Speaking on the significance of this initiative, Paul Odera emphasized its role in facilitating a seamless transition for players from school rugby to club engagements and ultimately representing the nation on the international stage. He underscored the pivotal role of this endeavor in enhancing the depth of talent within the U18 15s setup, thereby ensuring a robust pathway towards the U20 program and, ultimately, the esteemed Simbas team.

Wambui Mumbi |

The selection process, meticulously curated by the Kenya Rugby Union Development Officers in their respective regions, receives crucial support and collaboration from coaches and teachers within the participating schools. This collective effort aims to identify raw talent and provide them with the necessary resources and guidance to thrive in the competitive world of rugby.

Notably, the initiative extends its reach beyond the public school system, as international schools are also actively participating in the selection process as per their curriculum calendars, it is set to take place at Hill Crest on the 12th of May 2024. This inclusive approach underscores the program’s commitment to tapping into diverse talent pools across the country.

With the convergence of key stakeholders, unwavering dedication, and a steadfast commitment to nurturing talent at the grassroots level, the 15s High Performance Program is poised to elevate Kenya’s rugby pedigree, ushering in a new era of excellence and competitiveness on the global stage.

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