Mr. Herbert Mensah, President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) announced the Ghana Rugby Men’s Sevens national team that will take part in the Africa Rugby international tournament in Lome, Togo on the 28th of May 2016.
The team is made up of the following twelve players with Mr. Simba Mangena as Head Coach: Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC), Clement Dennis (Griffons RFC), Sani Alhassan (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Alex Dorpenyo (Conquerors SC), Seidu Razak (Conquerors SC), Solomon Akumba (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC) , Michael Acquaye (Conquerors SC), Calestus Bosoka (Conquerors SC), Emmanuel Kalos (Conquerors SC), Joseph Mensah (Griffons RFC), Erick Acquah (Griffons RFC) and Nasiru Aminu (Conquerors SC).
Preparations for the West Africa international tournament started in earnest when a squad of 25 players assembled in Accra with a technical team under guidance of Mr. Mensah focused on physical conditioning and fitness. Messrs. Simba Mangena (Head Coach of Conquerors SC), Clement Dennis (Player / Coach of Griffons RFC), Amuzuloh Salim (Head Coach of Cosmos Buffaloes RFC) and Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC) put the squad through a rigorous training programme that ended end of April 2016.
Phase II of the preparation started early May when a reduced squad of 16 players started camping in Accra.
The tournament will see six teams compete for top honours in Lome, Togo on 28 May in two pools with Niger, Burkina Faso and Togo in Pool A and Mali, Ghana and Bénin in Pool B. All matches will be played in Lome at the Stade Agoè-Nyivé stadium starting at 11am with the final at 3pm.at
In announcing the Ghana national Rugby squad, the Eagles, Mr. Mensah said that Ghana Rugby faces many challenges to get to the stage where it can compete in major international tournaments such as the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series that played the penultimate Round for 2016 in France over the weekend.
Mensah continued to say, “Ghana Rugby is in a process of rebuilding or rather building from ground levels and it will take dedication and especially patience to get the sport to a stage where it can enter the world stage on a much higher level. Being competitive with limited resources is however very important and a lot of planning and effort has gone into the preparations for the Togo tournament.”
According to Mr. Simba Mangena, who is in charge of the technical team under Herbert Mensah, preparations are going according to plan and the squad is eager to make all Ghanaians proud of their national Rugby team.
“Rugby and many other minority sports in Ghana is given very little mental and financial support from the sports authorities but we will leave no stone unturned to represent our country at an international level.” Mangena said.
Herbert Mensah also took the opportunity to praise the main sponsors for the Togo tournament, the Gino brands and Interplast, for its unwavering commitment to support the development of Rugby in Ghana.
“The needs for development of Rugby in Ghana by far exceed the available support the sport is getting currently and we hope that a solid and good performance in Togo will not only make the sponsors proud, but will also be the stimulus for the authorities and other potential sponsors to take serious notice of Rugby as a youth development channel and indeed a character builder due to the solid values that underpin the sport,” Mensah said.
Ghana National Men’s Sevens Team. Left to right. Front: Dan Hoppe (Idas Sports RFC), Simba Mangena (Coach), Clement Dennis (Griffons RFC). Second row: Sani Alhassan (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Alex Dorpenyo (Conquerors SC), Seidu Razak (Conquerors SC), Solomon Akumba (Cosmos Buffaloes RFC), Michael Acquaye (Conquerors SC). Back: Calestus Bosoka (Conquerors SC), Emmanuel Kalos (Conquerors SC), Joseph Mensah (Griffons RFC), Erick Acquah (Griffons RFC), Nasiru Aminu (Conquerors SC). Absent: Amuzuloh Salim (Coach).