IRB Chairman arrives for World Trophy finale

(IRB.COM) Thursday 30 April 2009
 IRB Chairman arrives for World Trophy finale
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset (right) with Kenya Rugby Football Union Chairman Richard Omwela

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset has arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, ahead of the final matches to be played in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009 on Sunday, including the grand final between USA and Romania.

Working with the Kenya Rugby Football Union and the Kenya Government, the IRB and Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) is using the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009 to reach out to a new young audience and Lapasset is confident that the event has followed on from the success of the inaugural tournament in Chile last year.

"I am delighted that this tournament, successfully hosted by Kenya, has already reached those same heights," he said. "And this at a time when the profile and growth of Rugby is enjoying unprecedented growth here, mainly thanks to the superb exploits of the Kenya Sevens team."

"The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy is firmly established as one of the world's best player development platforms. For players at this young age, the opportunity to play with peers from different nations is an important aspect of their development, not only as rugby men but for their future."

The IRB currently invests over US$2.2 million a year in African development programmes and Regional tournament infrastructure, aimed at raising the competitiveness of the Game on the continent.

A further US$1 million is being invested in the organisation of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Kenya and US$100,000 has been dedicated to the tournament's legacy programme, including significant investment in stadium infrastructure and pitch enhancement projects, grass roots coaching and Rugby equipment support. Scrum machines, post protectors and ancillary kit have also been distributed.

"Over the next four years the IRB and CAR will oversee the roll-out of a wide-reaching grass roots development programme in Kenya aimed at introducing 100,000 primary school children, boys and girls, to the Sport by 2012," added Lapasset.

"The project, in conjunction with the Kenyan Government, will be the largest of its kind in the country."

"All of this happens at a time when Rugby is reaching out for Olympic Games re-admittance. This is one of the IRB's five strategic goals and we anxiously await the IOC vote in Copenhagen in October 2009, to decide which two sports will be included from the 2016 Olympic Games. "

"On behalf of the International Rugby Board, I would like to thank the Kenya Rugby Football Union for their commitment to hosting this superb tournament."

Facts & Figures - Junior World Rugby Trophy

- More than 20 hours of live broadcast coverage through Host Broadcaster KBC and SuperSport
- First IRB Age Grade tournament to have live internet streaming
- Average crowd - 3,000 per match day
- 800 points scored (117 tries) so far, an average of 67 points per match
- Four of the 12 games decided in the last five minutes
- Anti-doping: All eight teams tested in- and out-of-competition