A New Lease Of Life For The BRSS
At the end of it’s 11th edition, Africa’s premier franchise rugby tournament, looked to be on it’s death bed. The once glamorous tournament that was meant to showcase the best players in the region had seemingly lost it’s focus and sparkle.
Apart the multiple side shows that took place last year, the cricket scores that were recorded were the real cause of concern. You see the super series was started in 2003 with an aim to make selection to the National squads that much easier by showcasing the best 100 players.
With the growth of the tournament over the years and the success it enjoyed there was an obvious need to expand the tournament. So from the original four Kenyan franchises, the tournament moved to five for a couple of years before expanding further to a high of six last year.
The last edition saw a host of changes from the re composition of the six franchises to adoption of new names for the franchises. All this aimed at giving the tournament a new look after a decade of existence. This would however back fire as the super series sank to an all time low.
This year, the organisers have gone all out to return the 6 week extravaganza to past glory, and they seem to have hit the right cord. During the grand unveiling ceremony yesterday, it was quite evident that the 12th edition of the Bamburi Super Series was going to be the biggest yet.
First the Kenyan franchises have been trimmed to four, featuring the Kifaru, Chui, Papa and Ndovu. These four will be joined as usual by the Victoria and the Rwenzori from Uganda. In another shift all the matches in a single match day will be played in one venue, under the ‘Super Sato’ concept.
Under the concept, which is the most exciting for me,Match day 1 action will take place in Kampala, with Match day 2 hosted in Kakamega. Match Day 3 will then move to Nakuru with Match days four and five taking place in Machakos and Nairobi respectively.
What this does is that it gives the fan a full package of the best of fifteens rugby over five weeks, and with the official broadcaster promising to air all the matches this gets more exciting. This also makes the work for the selectors easier as they can track players from week 1 to 5 thus giving them an opportunity to make a truly valid selection.
The constitution of the franchises remains largely the same with the coast franchise scrapped and the merger of the western and rift franchises. The Ndovu will feature Nakuru, Western Bulls, Kisumu, Eldoret and Kabras Sugar RFC.
The Papa will largely remain as was last year with KCB, Homeboyz and Mwamba with Mombasa becoming the fourth side. The Chui and Kifaru take up what the Nyumbu and Kengewa had last year. Chui being the Ngong road trio of Quins, Nondies and Impala with the Kifaru holding the university sides.
The sides are divided in two pools with Pool A holding the Ndovu, Chui and Victoria. Pool B pits Rwenzori, Papa and Kifaru. The tournament runs from the 26th of April to the 7th of June. Below is the summary of the composition of the franchises, the pools and fixtures, you should start getting ready!
Kenyan Franchise Composition :
Ndovu– Nakuru, Western Bulls, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kabras Sugar RFC
Papa – KCB, Homeboyz, Mwamba, Mombasa
Kifaru – Kenya Universities
Chui – Quins, Impala, Nondies
Uganda Franchises : Rwenzori, Victoria
Pool A: Ndovu, Chui, Victoria
Pool B: Rwenzori, Papa, Kifar
Fixtures and Venues
Saturday 26 April 2014 – Kampala
Victoria v Chui 2.00pm – Pool A
Rwenzori v Papa 4.00pm – Pool B
Saturday 3 May 2014- Kakamega
Papa v Kifaru – 2.00pm – Pool B
Ndovu v Victoria – 4.00m – Pool A
Saturday 17 May 2014 – Nakuru
Kifaru v Rwenzori – 2.00pm – Pool B
Ndovu v Chui – 4.00pm – Pool A
Saturday 24 May 2014- Machakos (Semi Final)
B1 v A2 – 2.00pm
A1 v B2- 4.00pm
Saturday 7 June 2014 0 RFUEA Nairobi (Final)
Loser Semi 1 v Loser Semi Final 2 (Third Place Playoff)-12.00pm
Winner Semi 1 v Winner Semi Final 2 (Final)- 2.00pm
Kenya v Western Province -(International Friendly) 4.00pm
Cant wait for that closing weekend in the capital…well I can and I will.