World governing body for the sport of rugby, World Rugby has urged Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) to make the development of the game from grassroot a top priority.
World Rugby Services Manager (Africa), Steph Neil made the appeal during an interactive session with the media at the Rugby House, Giwa Ayinde, Masha on Tuesday.
Neil, who was accompanied by Rugby Africa Regional Development Officer; Charles Yapo from Ivory Coast, said he was on a working visit to Nigeria to access the level of development of Rugby and to also see the facilities on ground.
According to Neil, Nigeria could develop the game through grassroots engagements in schools and catch them young initiatives, adding that the driving force of the development of the sport lies with the office of the National Technical Director an office he reckoned had a lots of influence on planning for the games.
“There are layers of development which has worked for other countries which can equally work for Nigeria which is developmental plans of the games especially participating in regional competitions.
“In Rugby, the first development structure starts with the players and then we take a look at the infrastructure, the referees and the coach. There are investment from the players to officials and the coach.
“The first thing the coach should get is the experience; it is a clear path for progress. The coaches will get to improve as they get to officiate more.
“Rugby players can be targeted in schools as part of grassroots development. They should be scouted for in primary, high school and tertiary institutions. These are processes for talent identifications,” he said.
Neil however praised the NRRF under the leadership of Kelechukwu Mbagwu, for providing a strong leadership structure which he said is on right path to development of the game.