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Nairobi, Friday 25 June 2021…As we embark on the start of the U20 Barthes Trophy 2021, allow me to extend a warm welcome to all teams and match officials who have arrived for the tournament.

This is the first international rugby event happening in Kenya since the onset of COVID-19 some fourteen months ago. It has been challenging to get this event up and running in light of the prevailing circumstances but we ensured that the tournament happens in a safe environment.  COVID is going to be with us for a long time and we must learn to adapt to its presence in all spheres of our daily lives.

We are following all Government and World Rugby COVID-19 protocols and I am glad to report that all players have tested negative ahead of the tournament’s official kick-off.

Kenya and Senegal will play the first match of this year’s U20 Barthes Trophy at 4.00pm EAT at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday 26 June 2021.

There will be no fans allowed into the stadium but we have made arrangements to ensure that the fixture is aired live by our broadcast partner, Mediamax. It will also air on the Kenya Rugby Union and Rugby Africa digital platforms and we invite all spectators to follow the proceedings through these platforms.

I would like to thank Rugby Africa for granting Kenya the U20 Barthes Trophy hosting rights for a three period between 2020 and 2022. They have pulled out all stops to ensure that the event takes off.

The Government of Kenya, particularly the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Heritage under the leadership of the Honorable Cabinet Secretary, Amb (Dr) Amina Mohammed and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo have been of immense help to the Kenya Rugby Union.

Not only did they support our bid to host this event, but they have also been pivotal in seeking the input of other State agencies to make sure that the 2021 U20 Barthes Trophy takes place successfully.

Our commercial partners have come in to support the event and their contributions cannot go unnoticed.

I want to give a special mention to the Local Organizing Committee who have dedicated their time and worked diligently under the prevailing circumstances to deliver this tournament to the world.

The U20 Barthes Trophy symbolizes the start of three weeks of international rugby action taking place on Kenyan soil. Our men’s fifteens national team, Simbas will host Zambia and Senegal in the Rugby Africa Cup between 3rd and 11th July while our women’s fifteens squad, Lionesses will play Madagascar on 7th July.

We are looking forward to this great action as we welcome the return of high octane, international rugby to Kenya.

Oduor Gangla,

Chairman, Kenya Rugby Union

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