By Sedara Philip
The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation is pleased to announce the appointment of Scotsman; Steve Lewis as Head coach of the senior National Teams.
The rugby federation’s president, Dr Are Ademola made this known on Wednesday following the re-admittance of Nigeria into the international scene by World Rugby.
Steve’s first assignment will be to lead the National Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams to the 2024 Olympic Games Pre-Qualifiers in Mauritius and Zambia in June and July respectively. These outings are symbolic as it will be the first activities of Nigeria Rugby on the international scene since 2019.
The Olympic Games pre-qualifiers is the pathway for Nigeria to participate in Paris 2024.
Twelve Countries will converge in Mauritius on June 24-25 to compete for the available four slots in the Africa Cup Sevens slated for Zimbabwe in September. Participating countries includes; Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Botswana, Cameroun, Algeria and Nigeria. Others include; Burundi, Congo, Lesotho, Sénégal and Egypt
The Nigeria Women sevens and other African Women’s teams will converge in Zambia on July 1-2 to compete for the available three slots in the Africa Women’s Cup Sevens slated for Tunisia in October.
“I look forward to playing a part in Nigeria’s return to international competition, and laying down good foundations for a new generation of Nigerian players & coaches” said Lewis.
Steve is not a stranger to Nigeria Rugby having coached the Black Stallions ten years ago from 2012-2013. Under his watch, Nigeria qualified for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 against all odds.
Steve was named USA Rugby coach of the year in 2016 and 2019 respectively. He coached Jamaica Sevens up to the World Challenger Series -Olympic Repechage in 2020 and he is a Technical Consultant for a much improved Brazil National Rugby Team.
Coach Stephen Lewis is presently the Director of Rugby at Championship winning New York Major League Rugby Club.