The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has appointed a former National Team captain, Azeez Ladipo as the body’s General Manager.
According to the federation, Ladipo will oversee the body’s strategic plan and implementation of policy decisions. He will also be tasked with the responsibility of working with the Technical Department for the development of men’s and women’s games, schools, and increasing participation of teams in the league.
Ladipo will also be in charge of the process of developing a general high-performance strategy of rugby players across the country.
The former national team Rugby player played the sport at the U14 level at the Lagos Rugby Club under the tutelage of Sir Martin Crawford, Yinka Marinho and Tunde Akerele amongst others.
He later made his national team bow as a teenager during the 2005 Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in Lagos and also in Dakar when Nigeria battled Senegal.
Ladipo joined Racing Rugby Club in 2005 and later moved to the Cowrie Rugby Club in 2009 before a brief spell with Chicago Blaze Rugby Club in the United States.
He remains the longest-serving National team 7s & 15s captain and one of the most decorated Nigerian Rugby players in history, winning the Super 16 Championship for Nigeria in 2006 where he kicked in 12 points in the final to help Nigeria beat the host nation Togo 12 – 11.
Among his laurels are the National League championship, Dubai Sevens plate winner, 6 Independence sevens winner, 8 Lagos League Championship, National Sports festival multiple gold medalist amongst others.
Reacting to his appointment, Ladipo said: “I am very excited to take up this position. I must thank the NRFF Board members led by Dr Ademola Are for this role. Everyone around me knows I am deeply passionate about Nigeria and sports development is a proven solution to some of the challenges we are facing in the country presently. This is a unique time for us to harness our full potential in Rugby.”
While speaking on Ladipo’s appointment, the NRFF president, Dr. Ademola Are stated his commitment to ensuring the best structure is put in place for Nigeria rugby to thrive.
He said more modalities would be put in place to put smiles on the faces of rugby players in the country, adding that grassroots development of the game must be achieved.